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Rio Tinto job cuts: Power prices lead to jobs cuts at largest aluminium smelter

Rachel Clun reports in the Brisbane Times (19.1.17) on mining company Rio Tinto’s planned shedding of jobs at its Boyne Island aluminium smelter in Gladstone, citing rising costs of government-generated power to the plant.

‘Gladstone’s Boyne Island aluminium smelter is set to shed jobs and cut $100 million-worth of production because of soaring Queensland power prices.

‘Boyne Smelters Ltd general manager Joe Rea said it was the second time in three years the facility had cut production due to “uncompetitive electricity prices”.

‘”BSL is paying more than 500 times more than what it costs to generate electricity,” he said in a statement.

‘… The company predicts a loss of about 45,000 tonnes of aluminium production, worth about $100 million at the current exchange price. This loss in revenue will be offset partially by job cuts.

‘The Rio Tinto-owned BSL employs more than 1000 workers and another 120 contractors, but the number of jobs on the line is yet to be confirmed.’

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