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23/7/2018 — Other Minerals and Metals
NZAS prepares for output lift

New Zealand’s sole aluminium smelter has maintained steady production though it is now activating another potline as it prepares for a lift in production.

The 79.36% owner of New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS), the mining giant Rio Tinto, reported June quarter equity production of 67,000 tonnes of aluminium, slightly higher than March quarter output of 66,000t.

Rio’s partner in the smelter at Bluff in Southland is Sumitomo Group of Japan.

Rio Tinto’s global aluminium production for the June quarter from its global operations was 858,000t, significantly up on March quarter’s 846,000t. The company owns or is partnership on aluminium refining operations in Australia, Canada, France, Iceland, Oman and the Tiwai Point smelter in NZ.

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An aerial view of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.