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Rio Tinto to scale back New Zealand aluminium smelter due to virus

The Rio Tinto mining company's logo is photographed at their annual general meeting in Sydney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rio Tinto Ltd <RIO.AX> <RIO.L> said on Tuesday its Tiwai smelter in New Zealand will scale back some operations to ensure the health and safety of its workers and comply with government restrictions on containing the coronavirus.

New Zealand is in a four-week lockdown to contain the virus that has infected more than three quarters of a million around the globe.

The smelter will scale back part of its aluminium making facilities, and affected workers will be reallocated to other areas of the plant, Rio Tinto Aluminium New Zealand said in a statement.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul and Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Additional reporting by Bangalore bureau; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)