Our operations


Rio Tinto owns and operates the Gove bauxite mine and refinery on the Gove Peninsula in North East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Australia. 

Our privilege to operate

Rio Tinto Gove Operations is located on Aboriginal Land. Rio Tinto has an Agreement with the Traditional Owners - the historic Gove Traditional Owners Agreement which was signed with Rirratjingu, Gumatj and Galpu Traditional Owners, the Northern Land Council and Rio Tinto in 2011. The Agreement formally acknowledges Traditional Owners and provides significant long-term mutual benefits to the Gove Traditional Owners.

This Agreement captures the aspirations of the business and Traditional Owners to work together to create long term mutual value and outline formal consultation processes between the company and the Traditional Owners of the land on which we operate. It lays the foundation for intergenerational benefits and sustainable economic, cultural, social and environmental outcomes for the signatory Traditional Owner Groups and communities—including education, employment, training, and cultural heritage management.

Our operations

Using conventional open-pit mining methods, Gove Operations consists of a continuous mining operation, 18 kilometres of overland conveyor to transport mined bauxite to the export wharf, stockpiles and a ship loader.

Bauxite mining commenced in the early 1970s. 

Gove bauxite is shipped internationally as well as domestically to supply Queensland Alumina Limited and Rio Tinto Yarwun refineries in Gladstone, Queensland. These refineries produce alumina as feedstock for Australian aluminium smelting operations and for sale on the international market. 

In 2017, a decision was made by Rio Tinto not the restart the Gove Alumina Refinery which had been curtailed and under care and maintenance since 2014. 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.

Rio Tinto is a major contributor to the regional economy on the Gove Peninsula, including significant investment in local infrastructure to support the Nhulunbuy township. Nhulunbuy Corporation Limited manages the township of Nhulunbuy under a Special Purpose Lease held by Rio Tinto. 

Economic development in East Arnhem

Nhulunbuy town Vision