Brazilian agency fines Norsk Hydro unit in Para state

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Brazilian environmental agency Ibama fined Norsk Hydro’s unit in the northern state of Para, the world’s largest alumina refining plant, 20 million reais ($6.2 million) and ordered it to halt using its waste pool and drainage system, potentially halting all work at the plant, the regulator said in statement on Wednesday.

Ibama said in a statement that Hydro Alunorte was operating without environmental licenses and that heavy metals had been found in surface waters near the unit after rains caused what a Health Ministry watchdog institute has said was a leak. The company has denied there was a spill, but has said it would comply with an earlier order to halt production by 50 percent.

($1 = 3.2458 reais)

Writing by Tatiana Bautzer
Editing by Leslie Adler

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