Why Australian aluminium was doomed

The two charts that explain why the Point Henry smelter was never going to be viable.

Alcoa's announcement that it is to close its Point Henry smelter came as no surprise to most observers. While the Australian dollar and the high cost of labour played a part, the global impediments to a viable industry proved impenetrable.

Since 2008, the price of aluminium has tumbled on the London metal exchange. In the 1990s, aluminium sold north of $US3000 per tonne, now it’s struggling to fetch $1700.


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