Alcoa completes deal to acquire to BHP Billiton's Suriname stake

Alcoa, the world's third largest producer of aluminum behind Rio Tinto Alcan and Rusal of Russia, has completed its previously announced deal to acquire BHP Billiton's bauxite and alumina refining interests in Suriname.

In April, Alcoa had announced that Suriname Aluminum Company LLC (Suralco), an Alcoa subsidiary, would acquire the bauxite and alumina refining interests of NV BHP Billiton Maatschappij Suriname (BMS), a BHP Billiton subsidiary, in Suriname for an undisclosed sum.

Suralco and BMS have been participants in mining and refining joint ventures in Suriname since 1984. BMS had a 45-per cent interest and Suralco held 55 per cent interest in the joint ventures.

Prior to the establishment of the joint ventures, BMS had separately conducted mining operations in the country, while Suralco has been active in Suriname for almost 100 years.

Late in 2008, BHP Billiton informed the government of the Republic of Suriname that it had decided to discontinue its activities in Suriname by 2010.

Bauxite, the main source of aluminum is the third largest commodity of Suriname and accounted for 72 per cent of the country's estimated export earnings of $496.6 million in 2001.