Rio Tinto's global game of chicken
Rio Tinto’s standoff with the government is part of a global game of chicken by the company.
Local factors, primarily the imminent float of shares in state owned electricity companies, have tended to mesmerise most onlookers, certainly in the narrow parochial world of New Zealand politics.
The fact is Rio Tinto – the owner, via subsidiary Pacific Aluminium, of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter – is taking much the same approach in every country it operates. So far as is known, those other countries are not floating shares in their state-owned electricity suppliers.