Is it finally time to call Rio Tinto’s bluff?
There’s been a fifty year-long battle at bringing Rio Tinto to account (literally) for its exploitation of hydro power, to feed its Tiwai Point smelter on New Zealand’s South Island. Now, the country’s Prime Minister, John Key, appears to be calling Rio Tinto’s bluff (ironically,  also the name of the smelter itself).
The full terms of the secret power deal, arrived at between Rio Tinto and the NZ government back in the seventies, have still not been fully divulged. But few observers doubt the company has been gaining cheap power at massive expense to taxpayers and  consumers, ever since.
Rio wants an extension of that subsidy, because it’s losing money hand over fist. And finally the government seems to have resisted this.