Gove Peninsula preparing for Rio Tinto aluminium operation to end

The Northern Territory’s town of Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula is preparing for an end to Rio Tinto’s Alcan Gove operation, The Australian reports today.

The Northern Territory’s town of Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula is preparing for an end to Rio Tinto’s Alcan Gove operation, The Australian reports today.

Weak aluminium prices and the continued loss-making state of the operation – which includes an aluminium refinery and bauxite mine – have analysts predicting it will come to an end soon.

An Investec analyst believes the operation lost over $100 million in the June half. Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese told investors last month that it would consider divesting poor performing assets, including its Pacific Aluminium division.

Gove employs 1500 people. “They are the major business in town,” Territory Primary Industries, Mining and Energy Minister Willem Westra van Holthe told The Australian.

“If you are not a direct employee of the plant, then in a lot of cases you are a subcontractor.

“Every job lost is either one person or an entire family out of a community that's only 3800 people.”

The mine and refinery has been cutting costs lately, reported on this website and on the ABC.