Mining operations are underway at one of the largest independent bauxite operations in Australia.
Metro Mining announced this week that mining had officially begun at its Bauxite Hills Mine project, located in the internationally renowned Weipa bauxite region on Cape York, Australia.
The company is mining at an initial rate of 2-million-tonnes-per-annum and has plans in place to ramp up to a “steady-state” of 6Mtpa over the first four years.
With an estimated Ore reserve of 92.2Mt and a total Resource of 144.8Mt, the Bauxite Hills Mine has an estimated 17-year mine life.
Metro Mining Managing Director & CEO Simon Finnis said the Bauxite Hills Mine would be a globally significant bauxite mining operation and would feed the ever-growing seaborne bauxite market.
“The Bauxite Hills Mine will become the largest independent mine within the internationally acclaimed Weipa Bauxite Region,” Mr Finnis said. “Commencement of mining operations is a credit to the entire Metro team. Site Management and the mining, marine and construction personnel have delivered the project in a very short time-frame and are to be congratulated.” “It was an extraordinary achievement to complete most of construction of a world class mine in just five months,” Mr Finnis said.
Metro has also announced that it has already signed a four-year off-take agreement with one of the largest aluminium companies in China, Xinga, and will make its first shipment of around 60,000 tonnes later this month.
In its first year, Metro will ship one million tonnes followed by 2Mtpa for each of the next four years.
Plans are also in place to expand the production level, with Metro granted approval to mine as much as 10Mtpa.