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NZ First outraged as Rio Tinto renege on Dross deal

New Zealand First is outraged by reports that Rio Tinto has reneged on a deal to fast track the removal of 10,000 tonnes of hazardous aluminium dross from Mataura.

New Zealand First MP based in Clutha-Southland, Mark Patterson, says Rio Tinto continues to wash its hands of its moral responsibility to Mataura and the wider Southland community to remove the substance.

“The aluminium dross in Mataura belongs to Rio Tinto, and it’s a disgrace that ratepayers and taxpayers are having to pick up the bill for its removal in the first place.

“But this decision by the company, in a week in which record rainfall in Southland threatened to flood the paper mill where the substance is stored, is a real kick in the guts for our community.

“The dross is a class six hazardous substance that could generate poisonous ammonia gas if it comes into contact with water, posing significant risks to human health and the environment.

“Despite this set back, I am as motivated as ever to do what I can to find a resolution, and will continue to work with relevant Ministers and local authorities to get the dross out of Mataura,” says Mr Patterson

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