Mozal smelter production at its max technical capacity

South32 has reported that Mozal Aluminium saleable production increased by 1kt to 268kt in FY2020 (based on South32 share of 47.1%) as the smelter continued to test its maximum technical capacity, despite the impact to production from increased load-shedding.

Mozal Aluminium is located 20 kilometres west of Mozambique’s capital city Maputo and has a solid metal production capacity of 580,000 tonnes (on a 100% basis) per year. Mozal Aluminium is the only aluminium smelter in Mozambique and the second largest aluminium smelter in Africa. It produces standard aluminium ingots.

Operating unit costs decreased by 12 per cent in FY20 to US$1,785/t as raw material input costs decreased for alumina, coke, pitch and aluminium tri-fluoride, which combined to account for 46 per cent of the smelter’s cost base (FY19: 49 per cent).

The smelter sources alumina from South32’s Worsley Alumina refinery with approximately 50 per cent priced as a percentage of the LME aluminium index under a legacy contract and the remainder linked to the PAX on an M-1 basis, with caps and floors embedded within specific contracts that reset each calendar year.

Underlying EBIT decreased by US$3 million in FY20 to a loss of US$24 million as a 12 per cent decrease in the average realised price of aluminium (-US$74 million) and an increase in pot relining costs (-US$3 million) were partially offset by lower raw material prices (+US$42 million), increased sales volumes (+US$26 million) and reduced labour and contractor charges (+US$8 million). 112 pots were relined across FY20 at a cost of US$278 thousand per pot (FY19: 103 pots at US$234 thousand per pot).

Sustaining capital expenditure decreased by US$8 million in FY20 to US$11 million. The smelter continues to roll out the AP3XLE energy efficiency technology in its pot relining program

South32 has a 47.1 per cent share of Mozal Aluminium, while Mitsubishi Corporation, through MCA Metals Holding GmbH, holds 25 per cent, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited holds 24 per cent and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique holds 3.9 per cent (through preference shares).

To support the development of the downstream aluminium industry in Mozambique a portion of liquid metal is supplied to Midal Cables, a local company that produces products for the domestic and export markets.

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