Finally an end to gaming from Rio Tinto reported:

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter in Southland will continue to operate until at least 2044 after striking a deal with Kiwi energy companies to supply renewable electricity until then. 

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS), which is owned by multinational mining group Rio Tinto, has often talked of closing due to low commodity prices and high electricity costs.

In 2019, Rio Tinto announced a strategic review of the smelter after a year of losses and eventually decided it would halt operations in 2021.

NZAS says it employs 1000 workers, indirectly supports another 2200 and makes up about 6.5% of Southland’s gross domestic product. 

The potential closure became an election issue in 2020, with various parties pitching plans to rescue the important regional employer, but ultimately aluminium prices came to the rescue. 

Rio Tinto were masters at bluffing the Government and threatening to abandon the smelter unless they got a sweetheart deal. Great to see the probable end of that, with a commercial 20 year deal struck for electricity.

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