Rio suspends alumina production at Gove

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013

Mining giant Rio Tinto will suspend alumina production at its Gove refinery in the Northern Territory, putting up to 1500 jobs on the chopping block.

Rio says the refinery is no longer a viable business in the current market, so it will now focus on its bauxite operations.

The company did not say how many jobs would be lost as it works on the scope and phased timing of the suspension.

Around 1,500 workers are employed at the Gove refinery, while 350 people are employed at the bauxite operations.

Rio chief executive Sam Walsh said it was a sad day for everyone associated with Gove and an extremely difficult decision that would have a significant impact on workers and the Northern Territory generally.

"There is no doubt it is a challenging path ahead." Mr Walsh said.

The refinery has been losing money for years due to long-depressed global aluminium prices and over-supply.

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