Rio Tinto reveals it will close Gove alumina refinery in Northern Territory by July

Rio Tinto has revealed that its Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory will be closed by July next year, throwing more than 1,000 people out of work.The mining giant today briefed its 1,400 refinery workers on the timeline for the shutdown.In a statement, federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said it would be business as usual at the refinery until February.Rio Tinto will then start a planned and staged suspension of refinery operations until July.Mr Macfarlane and Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles have both called on the big miner to release its social and economic study about the expected local impact of the closure to the public.But Rio Tinto says its study is at a preliminary stage and a consultant is expanding the information to reflect community feedback.Mr Macfarlane says senior officials from both governments will meet in Nhulunbuy soon.So far, the Federal Government has directed community members to seek assistance through Centrelink services.The people of Gove are calling for an assistance package similar to the one being offered to Holden workers in southern states.More than 1,000 workers will lose their jobs when the refinery closes and the impact on Nhulunbuy, which has a population of about 4,000, will be severe.

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