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Rio writes off more than $400M on New Zealand smelter

Keywords: Tags  Rio Tinto, Tiwai Point, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, aluminum, Sumitomo Chemical Co.

LONDON — Rio Tinto Plc has written off nearly half a billion dollars from the value of its Tiwai Point aluminum smelter in New Zealand, according to its 2012 financial results filing to the New Zealand Companies Office.

"The net result of consolidated operations after income tax was a loss of NZ$548 million ($438.41 million) and includes an after-tax impairment in respect of New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd. (NZAS) of NZ$528 million ($422.41 million)," the filing said.

Excluding the impairment, NZAS posted a pre-tax loss of NZ$32.1 million ($25.67 million), in contrast to earnings of NZ$254.3 million in 2011, on a combination of low metal prices and unfavorable exchange rates, the company said.

London-based Rio Tinto owns 79.36 percent of NZAS, which operates New Zealand’s only aluminum smelter. The remaining share is owned by Tokyo’s Sumitomo Chemical Co.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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