Canberra said Russia relied on Australia for 20% of its alumina demand and the export ban would limit its ability to produce aluminium.
Australia has expanded sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine, banning all exports of alumina and bauxite to limit Moscow’s ability to produce aluminium.
The Australian government announced an export ban on Sunday, saying “Russia relies on Australia for nearly 20% of its alumina demand”, a move that will affect Russian aluminium production.
Aluminium is an important export product of Russia.
The Australian export ban comes days after Canberra sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who owns Queensland Alumina Ltd, a joint venture between Rusal and mining giant Rio Tinto. ) shares. The latter has pledged to sever all commercial ties with Russia.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was working with partners to “put the greatest cost, the greatest pressure on the Putin regime to withdraw its troops from Ukraine”.
Morrison said Australia had imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and institutions 476 times since the invasion began.
He also announced that Australia would donate 70,000 tonnes of thermal coal to Ukraine at the request of the besieged country.
“We know it can power up to a million homes,” he said.
In addition, Australia will contribute an additional A$30 million ($22.3 million) in humanitarian aid and will donate an additional A$21 million ($15.6 million) in defensive military aid, including ammunition and body armor, to Ukraine.
Morrison said the government had approved visas for nearly 5,000 Ukrainians displaced by the conflict in recent weeks.
He announced that Ukrainian refugees would be eligible for a new three-year humanitarian visa, allowing them to work, study and enter the country’s health system.