<P dir=rtl align=left><SPAN><STRONG>Brazil MRN to raise '04 bauxite output to 17 mln T</STRONG></SPAN></P>
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Brazil MRN to raise '04 bauxite output to 17 mln T
Wednesday March 10, 12:19 pm ET
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, March 10 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining company Mineracao Rio do Norte SA will raise bauxite production to 17 million tonnes in 2004 from 16.3 million tonnes last year, company president Julio Sanna said on Wednesday.
"We aim to produce up to 17.4 million tonnes in 2005 with minimal investment," Sanna told Reuters after addressing a Metal Bulletin bauxite and alumina seminar.
But he added that no investment was currently planned for further expansion.
"We continue looking for new technology to cut costs and increase productivity," he said, referring to ore crushing, waste ore disposal and energy use.
MRN, which operates the world's largest bauxite mine at Porto Trombetas in the Amazon region, last year completed a nearly $230 million project to raise production capacity by almost 50 percent to 16.3 million tonnes a year.
Sanna said that mine output would this year exceed nominal capacity due to improvements in production techniques.
MRN sells all its bauxite to its shareholders with nearly 60 percent destined for the domestic market and exports going mainly to Europe, Canada and the United States.