"For me it's a longer term strategic deal to secure supply. Some big projects in West Africa are a bit shaky. Indian deposits look like they will be relatively difficult to access. The bauxite market is going to get tighter from about 2017," said ANZ commodities strategist Nick Trevethan in Singapore.
As it stands, the share sale to CITIC does not involve any supply agreement.
CITIC agreed to pay A$1.235 a share for the equity stake in Alumina. Alumina's shares surged to a 14-month high of A$1.405 after the announcement and last traded up 8 percent at A$1.30, outpacing the broader market.
The struggling aluminium industry won another fillip this week when Rio Tinto agreed to keep open its Australian Gove alumina refinery, after securing gas supply from the Northern Territory government, crucial to cutting costs at the loss-making plant.
CITIC Resources previously owned a 25 percent stake in Macarthur Coal, and played a pivotal role in extracting a solid premium when the Australian miner was taken over by U.S. firm Peabody Inc in 2011, booking a A$400 million profit on that investment.
Alumina was advised by Flagstaff Partners, and CITIC was advised by ANZ Corporate Advisory.