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Agreement Reached with CVG Venalum on Aluminum Metal Supply

November 13, 2002

CVG Venalum and its five Japanese shareholders - Showa Denko K.K., Kobe Steel, Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., Ltd. - have formally agreed to renew their Primary Aluminum Metal Purchase and Sale Contract. As a result, shipment of primary aluminum metal from Venalum to Japan, which has been suspended since April this year, is scheduled to be resumed in December.

The new contract will be valid from November 2002 through March 2006, during which a total of 360,000 tons of primary aluminum metal (or 90,000 tons a year over the four-year period) will be shipped from Venalum to Japan.

The both parties had talks on several occasions since February to discuss the contract renewal, but the negotiations faced rough going due to a substantial difference of opinion between the two.

To break the deadlock, Francisco Rangel Gomez, President of Corporacion Venezolana Guayana (the Venezuelan side shareholder in Venalum), and Akira Furusawa, Senior Managing Director of Showa Denko, who represented the five Japanese shareholders, met in Venezuela on October 31, where the two agreed on the need to resume aluminum shipment to Japan as soon as possible.

At the talks, both sides offered concessions. The Japanese negotiation team accepted the basic conditions, recognizing that the Venezuelan side gave due consideration to the interests of Japanese Shareholder Buyers.

Final agreement has been reached after the subsequent working-level discussions on detailed conditions.