Global Alumina Releases Year-End 2008 Results



    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ -- Global Alumina Corporation (TSX: GLA.U) (the
"Company" or "Global Alumina"), a corporation participating in a joint venture
to develop an alumina refinery, mine and associated infrastructure in the
bauxite-rich region of the Republic of Guinea (the "Project"), announced that
the Company's board of directors has approved its financial results for the
year ended December 31, 2008.
    

    
    The text of the annual audited financial statements and management's
discussion and analysis can be viewed or printed from the Company's SEDAR
reference page at www.sedar.com.  All dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars.
    

    2008 Financial Highlights
    --  Global Alumina received the first deferred subscription payment of
        $42.2 million from its joint venture partners in October 2008 related
        to the sale of interests in the Project in 2007.  Subsequent to
        year-end, in January 2009 the Company received the second deferred
        subscription payment of $33.3 million from its joint venture partners.
    --  In 2008 the joint venture partners contributed capital of $187.5
        million towards the approved Project budget with the Company
        contributing its $62.5 million one-third share.
    --  As at December 31, 2008, the Company had unrestricted cash of $13.5
        million and escrowed cash totalling $67.6 million its escrow account
to
        fund future Project capital calls.  Escrowed funds at December 31,
2008
        included the first deferred subscription payment of $42.2 million
        received in October 2008.
    --  For the year ended December 31, 2008 the Company reported a net income
        of $37.6 million ($0.18 per share), compared to $76.1 million ($0.37
        per share) for the same period in 2007.  Income for the year includes
        $44.0 million of dilution gain relating to the sale of interests in
the
        Project in 2007.
    --  Interest income for 2008 was $2.4 million versus $3.5 million in 2007.

    
    Global Alumina expects that the unrestricted funds, including an
additional $11.3 million to be released from escrow, will be sufficient to
enable it to meet its corporate operating expense requirements through 2012
and that remaining escrowed funds will be sufficient to fund the Company's
one-third share of Project equity requirements at least through to
finalization of debt financing for the Project.
    

    Significant Corporate Events

    Receipt of subscription monies
    
    In October 2008, the Company's joint venture partners made the first
deferred subscription payment of approximately $42.2 million in aggregate for
their interests in the Project.  On December 30, 2008, the Company and the
joint venture partners entered into an agreement pursuant to which the second
deferred subscription payment of approximately $33.3 million was made in
January 2009.  The parties also agreed that upon the official publication of
the order transferring the Project's Guinean mining concession from the
Company to the joint venture's operating subsidiary and the expiration of a 65
day challenge period, certain warranties and indemnities provided by the
Company to the joint venture partners in connection with title to Project's
mining concession would be terminated and $11.3 million, representing 15% of
the first and second deferred subscription payments, would be released from
escrow and become freely available.  The order was published in the Official
Journal of the Republic of Guinea on December 22, 2008 and the challenge
period expired on February 25, 2009.
    

    Normal Course Issuer Bid
    
    The Corporation commenced a normal course issuer bid to repurchase its
common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on November 25, 2008.  The bid was
completed on December 31, 2008 and 10,904,207 common shares of the Corporation
were repurchased for an average price of $0.476 per share.  The price paid for
common shares acquired by the Corporation under the bid was the market price
of the shares at the time of acquisition.  All shares acquired under the bid
have subsequently been cancelled.
    

    About Global Alumina
    
    Global Alumina and its joint venture partners are developing a 3.6
million metric tons per annum nominal capacity alumina refinery located in the
bauxite-rich region of the Republic of Guinea.  The joint venture partners in
the Project are Global Alumina International, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary
of the Company, BHP Billiton, Dubai Aluminium Company Limited and Mubadala
Development Company PJSC.  The Project is one of the most advanced new
projects in Guinea with the refinery already in feasibility stage and critical
path infrastructure and site work already underway.  Global Alumina is
positioned to be one of the only companies focused solely on alumina
production and sales.  The Company offers a first mover advantage over other
projects in the region and an opportunity for socially responsible investing
in a country that holds over one-third of the world's bauxite resources. 
Global Alumina is headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick with operations
in Boke, Guinea and has administrative offices in New York, London, Montreal
and Conakry, Guinea. For further information visit the company's website at
www.globalalumina.com.
    

    Forward Looking Information
    
    Certain information in this press release is "forward looking
information", which reflects management's expectations regarding the Company's
future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and
opportunities.  In this release, the words "may", "would", "could", "should",
"will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "seek", "propose",
"estimate" and "expect" and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company
and its assets and interests, are often, but not always, used to identify
forward looking information.  Such forward looking information reflects
management's current beliefs and is based on information currently available
to management.  Forward looking information involves significant risks and
uncertainties, should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or
results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not or
the times at, or by which, such performance or results will be achieved.  In
particular, this discussion contains forward looking information pertaining to
the following: the decisions of the joint venture with respect to the conduct
of the Project; the approval of the proposed development plan with respect to
the Project and the making of a decision by the joint venture partners to
proceed with the development of the Project and the timing of such decision;
the outcome of the review by the Government of Guinea of agreements for
compliance purposes; expectations regarding the financing of the Project, the
terms, timing and amount of financing and the sources of financing for the
Project; the amount, nature and timing of capital expenditures to complete the
Project; the timing of refinery construction and mine start up; future
production levels; expectations regarding the negotiation of contractual
rights; prices for alumina and aluminium; operating and other costs; the
negotiation and terms of agreements relating to the access of the Project
joint venture to and use of certain infrastructure required for the
development and operation of the Project; recognition by the new political
regime in Guinea of historical agreements negotiated by the previous
government, and general business strategies and plans of management with
respect to the Project.  A number of factors could cause actual results to
differ materially from the results discussed in the forward looking
information, including, but not limited to: the failure or delay in obtaining
debt financing for the Project; the limited control by the Company of the
assets and operations of the Project and its inability to make major decisions
with respect to the Project without agreement from the other joint venture
partners; the requirement that the Company hold a portion of subscription
proceeds received pursuant to the Subscription Agreement in escrow and the
possibility the Company may need to seek additional financing to fund
corporate expenses; the amount of debt financing available to the Project
being insufficient to fund the Project to complete development; the inability
of the Company to raise sufficient financing to fund its share of the
development costs of the Project in excess of the maximum Project debt
financing; the possibility that the Company's interest will be diluted if it
is unable to meet a capital call with respect to the Project; the current
political and economic risks of investing in a developing country; recent
political events in Guinea and the establishment of a new government and the
policies of such new government; material changes to the cost estimates and
time estimates for development of the Project and changes in the world economy
causing such estimates to become inaccurate; a decision by the joint venture
partners to delay the Project or not to proceed with the Project; construction
risks such as cost overruns, delays and shortages of labour, materials or
equipment; the Company's dependence on an interest in a single asset; the
possible forfeiture of the Project's Guinean mining concession in certain
circumstances; operational risks such as access to infrastructure and skilled
labour; currency fluctuations; price volatility of alumina, aluminium or raw
materials and certain other factors related to the Project discussed under the
heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form.
    

    
    The forward looking information contained in this discussion is based on
the following principal assumptions: that the data, estimates and projections
in the bankable feasibility study of the Project are within the range of
accuracy suggested therein; that the joint venture partners will agree on a
timely schedule for development of the Project and will make a decision to
proceed with the Project upon approval of the development plan and that notice
to proceed will not be delayed beyond the end of 2010; that general economic
conditions will not become adverse to the completion of financing for the
Project and will have no material adverse impact on the Project; that the
negotiations with prospective Project lenders and between the prospective
Project lenders and the Guinean government will resume and be successfully
concluded; that the bidding process for contracted work in connection with the
Project will be completed in a competitive manner and that actual costs to
complete work will be within the range of quotes provided by contractors to
date; that the joint venture will be able to acquire necessary labour at
currently assumed labour costs and productivity rates; that once approved the
development plan for the Project is conducted according to schedule; that
general economic factors and trends relating to construction costs remain
constant or improve and that the future political and economic climate in
Guinea has no material adverse effect on the Project and that the new
political regime continues to recognize agreements negotiated by the previous
government.  Although the forward looking information contained in this
discussion is based upon what management of the Company believes are
reasonable assumptions, Global Alumina cannot assure investors that actual
results will be consistent with this forward looking information.  If the
assumptions underlying forward looking information prove incorrect or if other
risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may vary materially from
those anticipated in this release.  This forward looking information is made
as of the date of this press release, and Global Alumina assumes no obligation
to update or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as
required by applicable law.
    




    




For further information:

For further information: Michael Cella, Global Alumina, +1-212-351-0010,
cella@globalalumina.com; or Barbara Cano, Breakstone Group, +1-646-452-2334,
bcano@breakstone-group.com Web Site: http://www.globalalumina.com

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