(Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group has declared force majeure on alumina cargoes from its refineries in Queensland, Australia, due to shortages of gas to power its operations, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company notified clients on Monday, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Rio produces alumina — the raw material for making aluminum — at its Yarwun refinery and at Queensland Alumina Limited, a joint-venture it owns with Russia’s United Co. Rusal International PJSC.

The plants have been unable to run properly due to a regional shortage of gas. Rio had said in March that it was assessing the impact of fires in Queensland on the gas pipeline that supplies the plant.

The force majeure will only affect sales of alumina to third parties, and Rio’s own aluminum operations will not be affected, the people said. 

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