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New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) could breathe life again even after its planned closure next year as Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said she will negotiate to extend operations at this smelter.


NZAS is the country’s only aluminium smelter located at Tiwai and is of high importance to the country economically. Rio Tinto owns 79.36pc stake in the smelter and the rest is owned by Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Company. The plant used to export 90pc of the total aluminium produced.


In July, Rio Tinto announced to wind down operations and close NZAS in August 2021 as business was no longer viable given high energy costs and bleak outlook for aluminium industry.


New Zealand is scheduled to go to polls in October this year. 


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