Alcan commits AU$600,000 to CDU for environmental research program 


Nhulunbuy, Australia – August 4, 2006 – Charles Darwin University (CDU) has welcomed Alcan’s announcement today committing AU$600,000 to its ‘Tropical Futures: Mineral Program’ (Program). The Program’s objective is to further minimise the environmental impact of mining and mineral processing activities in northern Australia including the Northern Territory.

CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Garnett said Alcan’s commitment to ‘Tropical Futures’ is an important step in the right direction.

“On behalf of CDU, I would like to thank Alcan for its commitment to the Program and contribution to the whole mining community,” Professor Garnett said.

“At CDU, we are committed to transforming the way we utilise our land, water, mineral and energy resources through a better understanding of environmental systems and the use of new technologies,” continued Professor Garnett. “Alcan is playing a critical role in this regard and, with this additional support from the mining industry, we will be able to further enhance sustainability within the resources sector.”

President of Pacific Operations for Alcan Bauxite and Alumina, Kurt Thurnherr said: “Alcan knows that building a successful company, and therefore a sustainable legacy, is directly linked to the economic, social and environmental contribution it makes to its operating communities.

“This is why Alcan is proud to be the first signatory to the ‘Tropical Future’ program—a research initiative that is supported by the Northern Territory Government. Alcan’s partnership with CDU is part of its ongoing commitment to doing things the right way,” Thurnherr continued.

“This partnership will assist in delivering long-term environmental benefits to the community,” said David Buick, Site Manager, Alcan Gove. “As part of the Program, Alcan will fund a senior research fellow for three years and support other projects in line with the Program’s objective. In addition, CDU will build on existing research work that it has undertaken with Alcan’s Gove alumina refinery located in Nhulunbuy,” he added.

CDU is currently providing specialist research and monitoring support for Alcan’s Gove refinery including the Melville Bay Marine Health Monitoring Program (MHMP), which will continue as part of the Program.

Charles Darwin University is founded on 50 years of delivering tertiary education to the Northern Territory. Formed in 2003 through a merger between the Northern Territory University, Alice Springs-based Centralian College and the Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University offers a fresh approach to training, education, research and knowledge application. It aspires to be recognised internationally as a centre of excellence in Indigenous and cross cultural knowledge, tropical knowledge (relevant to the wet/dry tropics) and desert knowledge.

Alcan has been part of Australia’s aluminium industry since 1967 and its Australian operations play a critical role in the company’s international portfolio. Australia is now Alcan’s major capital base outside of Canada, contributing 60 percent of Alcan’s global alumina production and employing more than 3,500 people around the country. These interests include the Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory (100 percent ownership), Queensland Alumina Limited (41.4 percent), the Tomago aluminium smelter in New South Wales (51.5 percent) and bauxite reserves in the Northern Territory and North Queensland.

CDU Media Contacts:

David Parry
Phone: +61-8-8946 6701

Christine Bond
Phone: +61-8-8946 6019