Rio to end Gove refinery talks

Future of Gove alumina refinery unclear as negotiations break off.

Rio Tinto (RIO) has reportedly told Australian governments there is no point in continuing negotiations over its loss-making Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory, calling into question the future of the refinery and raising the prospect of significant job losses, according to The Australian.

The newspaper reported that the miner is expected to decide this week to scale back the refinery and instead export bauxite as negotiations with the federal and territorial governments over subsidised gas supplies hit a stalemate.

Governments have offered significantly discounted gas supplies and promised a $600 million gas pipeline but have apparently told the miner they can not offer any additional incentives.

The refinery's future has received significant attention as Rio is a dominant employer in the region and a winding down of the refinery could cost the territory some $400 million in economic benefits, according to The Australian.

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