Prof. Xiao-bin Li

Professor, School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, China

Prof. Li is the academic head of the Alkaline Process Metallurgy Research Center at Central South University, China. His research interests include the theory and technique of alkaline process metallurgy, crystallization process, interface properties, and comprehensive utilization of resources and environmental protection.

Li has been researching on alumina refinery since 1983 and made stellar achievements. He published approximately 200 scientific refereed papers , held nearly 50 Chinese invention patents, and accomplished more than 80 research projects. Moreover, several innovative technologies such as the sandy alumina production and oxalate removal from Bayer liquor have been successfully applied in alumina refineries, several others including red mud discharge reduction and intensified seeded precipitation are on the way of commercialization. Additionally, based on the long-term research on alumina refinery, Li creatively proposed a metallurgical symmetric principle comprising orientated regulations of mineral transformation and mineralogical phase reconstruction, and successively developed cleaner processes for producing sodium dichromate, ammonium paratungstate and ammonium molybdates in recent years.

Recognized for his exceptional work, Prof. Li has been honored with numerous awards including two National Awards, several provincial scientific awards, Chinese Patent Gold Medal, and Science and Technology Cooperation Award by Chalco.


Raphael Costa

Technology Director, Bauxite & Alumina
Hydro Bauxite, Brazil

Raphael is the technology director for the Bauxite & Alumina business unit of Hydro, responsible for technology selection and development, the R&D group portfolio and the technical support to operations, including the bauxite mining and beneficiation operations at Paragominas and the alumina refining operations at Alunorte. He is the president of the Companhia de Alumina do Para (CAP) alumina refinery project. He is also a member of the bauxite mine Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) board, the Paragominas mine board, and the Alunorte refinery board.

Raphael has more than 30 years of experience in the aluminum industry, working in various technical and managerial positions with Alcoa and Hydro, in Brazil, US, Spain and Australia. He also has 4 years of experience in the steel mini-mill industry in the US. 

He has a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria, in the US.


Bruce Cox

Managing Director
Pacific Operations, Aluminium
Rio Tinto

Bruce is managing director of Rio Tinto Aluminium’s Pacific Operations. This business is responsible for the bauxite mining, alumina refining, and primary metal smelting assets of Rio Tinto in the Pacific region. The business has an employee base of approximately 6,000 employees and a revenue base in excess of US$4.5 billion. The Pacific Operations portfolio includes the bauxite mines, Gove and Weipa, alumina refineries, QAL and Yarwun, aluminium smelters, Bell Bay, Boyne, Tomago and NZAS as well as the Gladstone Power Station.

Bruce has more than 36 years of experience within Rio Tinto and BHP, and prior to his current role was managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds. Bruce’s career has spanned the steel, platinum, copper, iron ore, uranium, diamond and aluminium commodity sectors and he has lived in Australia, Zimbabwe, Chile, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Bruce is Chair of the Australian Aluminium Council and Queensland Alumina Limited, board member of Tomago and recently was non-executive director of the listed company ERA. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and MBA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

During his career, Bruce has held a number of senior CFO roles as well as broader CEO and Managing Director roles. He has extensive commercial, M&A and operational experience across multiple commodity sectors. Bruce has substantial on-the-ground experience in business turnaround and transformation of distressed assets.