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Norsk Hydro to buy Rio Tinto aluminum assets for US$345M

Norsk Hydro ASA said Feb. 26 that it signed a binding agreement to acquire Rio Tinto's Icelandic aluminum plant, Rio Tinto Iceland Ltd. its 53.3% stake in Dutch anode facility Aluminium & Chemie Rotterdam BV, or Aluchemie; and its 50% stake in Swedish aluminum fluoride plant Alufluor AB for US$345 million.

The deal is expected to be finalized in the second quarter.

Aluchemie is a joint venture between Rio Tinto and Norsk Hydro, with the latter holding 46.7%. Alufluor is jointly held with Yara International ASA on a 50/50 basis.

In a separate Feb. 24 statement, Norsk Hydro said it formed a task force to investigate the alleged leakage of alumina residue and water contamination from its Alunorte refinery in Para, Brazil, following heavy rainfall Feb. 16-17.