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Alcoa moves ahead with smelter plans, faces new mining rules

| Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, 4:33 p.m.

BOONVILLE, Ind. — Alcoa Corp. is moving forward with plans to partially reopen its aluminum smelting operations in southwestern Indiana as it challenges new local coal mining regulations.

The Pittsburgh-based company says three of five shuttered smelter lines at its Warrick Operations near Evansville are expected to return online in 2018. The company has promised about 275 jobs. A planned expansion of Liberty Mine will provide fuel for the smelter.

A new Boonville City Council ordinance bans mining for coal, gas, oil or other minerals within the city or areas within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the city, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

The rules were needed to protect the city's residents, Mayor Charlie Wyatt said.

The Liberty Mine expansion plan meets or exceeds needed safeguards, Alcoa spokesman Jim Beck said.

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