closure of Rio Tinto Plcs Gove alumina refinery in
Australia will be carried out in three phases beginning in
February, and will result in the loss of more than 1,000 jobs,
the company said.
"Rio Tinto is
continuing business as usual at its Gove operations until
February 2014," Australian federal industry minister Ian
Macfarlene told AMM sister publication Metal
The first stage of the
production shut down will be in early February, the second
stage in April to May and the third between June and July, Rio
Tinto said Dec. 19.
"The refinery will
move to care and maintenance from August 2014," the miner
Currently about 1,400
employees and contractors work at the Gove refinery and bauxite
mine. Rio Tinto, which will continue to mine and export bauxite
at Gove, expects to retain about 350 jobs locally.
"We are continuing to
consult with employees about their future options," Jo-Anne
Scarini, Rio Tintos director of the Gove transition,
said. The options include remaining at Gove, seeking
redeployment to another Rio Tinto operation or participating in
the companys redundancy program, she added.
Rio Tinto said it was
also moving forward with strategies aimed at helping to sustain
Australias Nhulunbuy community and East Arnhem
The company had
recently suspended the Gove alumina refinery to focus on
bauxite operations there. Rio Tinto expects bauxite demand to
continue to outstrip demand growth for aluminum, largely due to
Chinese demand, chief executive officer Sam Walsh said earlier
this month during a presentation in London (
amm.com, Dec. 12).
A version of this
article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal