Alcoa, Pittsburgh, Pa., approved engineering work for a planned expansion of its Pinjarra alumina refinery in Western Australia. The project is designed to lay the foundation for a 600,000-metric ton expansion of that facility, which currently produces 3.4 million metric tons of alumina per annum. Engineering work is expected to take about six months to complete. If government approvals are forthcoming and market conditions warrant, the expansion itself could be completed by 2005 and would cost approximately $270 million ($US.)