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Brazilian court thumbs down Norsk Hydro's bid to overturn Alunorte output cuts

A court in Brazil's Para state rejected Norsk Hydro ASA's appeal to overturn the partial suspension of bauxite refining operations at its Alunorte alumina smelter in the country, Reuters reported June 12.

The company was unable to secure relief from the state court after a Brazilian federal court in May upheld the output cuts at the plant.

In late February, the company was ordered by authorities to slash the refinery's output by 50% due to an alleged leak at the site.

Norsk Hydro previously admitted to an unauthorized release of excess rainwater and an overflow of discharged water at Alunorte. However, it disputed the rumors regarding a waste spill, saying reviews by its internal task force and a third-party environmental consultancy confirmed no indications of contamination from the plant.

The company said in an emailed statement to the newswire that it was assessing potential next steps in the courts.

The world's largest alumina refinery churns out 5.8 million tonnes per annum, according to Norsk Hydro's website.

Limited operations at Alunorte also prompted Norsk Hydro to halve output at its Albras aluminum plant and the Paragominas bauxite mine in the country.