Operation overview


Gove Operations bauxite mine and alumina refinery is located 650km east of Darwin in north east Arnhem Land on Aboriginal land. The operation is situated on extensive deposits of high grade bauxite, a burnished red ore with high aluminium oxide content. Gove produces more than 8.2 million tonnes per annum of bauxite.

In November 2013, Rio Tinto announced it would suspend alumina production at Gove in 2014 and focus on its bauxite operations. Key factors influencing the decision were continuing low alumina prices, a high exchange rate and substantial after-tax losses for the refinery despite considerable efforts to improve refinery performance during that time.

The phased suspension of alumina production occurred between February and July 2014. The refinery will move to care and maintenance from August to ensure it is prepared for a potential re-start in the future.

Rio Tinto Alcan is responsible for funding town services and managing the town of Nhulunbuy, which is located within the mine lease.

Rio Tinto Alcan recognises the suspension of alumina production will have a significant impact on the local community and the company is working in partnership with the Northern Territory and Australian Governments, the broader community and Traditional Owners to identify initiatives to create new opportunities for the people of Nhulunbuy.

In May 2011, the historic Gove Traditional Owners Agreement was signed with Rirratjingu, Gumatj and Galpu Traditional Owners, the Northern Land Council and Rio Tinto Alcan. This was a momentous occasion for the entire community as it formally acknowledged Traditional Owners for the first time in the operation's history.

Operation data

Ownership: 100% Rio Tinto Alcan

Number of employees: Post-curtailment of the refinery, approximately 400 employees and contractors

Products: Bauxite


Repeal of Carbon Tax - Statement for Customers - RTA [PDF: 231 KB]

Carbon Tax Removal Substantiation Statement- Alcan [PDF: 498 KB]

Water Discharge Licence [PDF: 6.47 MB]