it issued in April. Meanwhile, 2010 guidance for alumina production was reduced for 9.4 million tons from 9.6 million tons, as the company cut back production during the second quarter at the Vaudreuil refinery on a drop in aluminum prices. The company will continue its expansion projects in Australia on the rollback of mining taxes. "Growth is firmly back on our agenda. We have a large range of options for expansion and investment competing for capital. Now that much of the uncertainty over the Australian resource tax has been removed, we are starting to move ahead with projects there with the announcement today of $200 million of funding to prepare for the expansion of our Pilbara operations to 330 million tons a year," Albanese said.
Shares of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton ( BHP) closed higher by 1.25% and 2.07%, respectively, in Australia. At $47.55 in New York, Rinto is currently trading at an attractive price-to-earnings multiple of 7.3, lower than BHP's 14.4, Vale's ( VALE) 8.1, Alcoa's ( AA) 23.1 and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold's ( VALE) 8.4.