RUSAL Co. BUYS AUSTRALIAN STOCK

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MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Aluminum, or RusAl, Co. is spectacularly enhancing its raw material basis now that it has purchased a block of the Queensland aluminum works, or QAL. The basis will increase at least by 22 per cent, reports the RusAl press center.

The RusAl was acquiring the shares from the Kaiser Aluminium in a transaction that finished last week.

The Russian-based company won a 20 per cent QAL block auction, October last, at $401 million, and took upon itself a $60 million Kaiser Aluminium debt.

The transaction brought the RusAl another 770,000 tons of alumina a year, with prospects to increase the amount to an annual million tons.

The Kaiser Aluminium has also ceded to the RusAl all acting alumina supply contracts, and other contracts involving the QAL. Alumina supply amounts on acting contracts will gradually shrink within the two next years. 2008 will usher in a new arrangement, for all QAL alumina belonging to the Russian company to come to aluminum industrial companies, some going, others now under construction.

The QAL block purchase has come at a Russian-based company's maiden major capital investment in Australia, says Alexander Bulygin, RusAl Director General.

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