Metro Commences Mining at Bauxite Hills
Mining operations have commenced at Metro Mining’s Bauxite Hills Mine 95 kilometres north of Weipa on Western Cape York.
Mining has commenced at an initial rate of 2-million-tonnes-per-annum (Mtpa) ramping up to a steady-state 6Mtpa over the first four years. Government approvals are in place to mine up to 10Mtpa. The first 60,000 tonne shipment from the mine has been purchased by the Xinfa Group one of the largest integrated aluminium companies in China. Xinfa has significant refining and smelting operations in Shandong, Shanxi, Guangxi and
Metro has a four-year binding Off-take Agreement to supply Xinfa with one million tonnes in the first year followed by 2Mtpa for 3 years. Metro 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. “Mine construction was largely completed in just five months between July last year and the onset of the Regions wet season in December. Commencement of mining operations is a credit to the entire Metro team. Site management, mining, marine and construction contract personnel have delivered the project in a very short timeframe and are to be congratulated.”
The onset of Cyclone Nora in late March required the evacuation of most personnel from site. Metro was successful in containing the delays to mining operations to only one week. The Bauxite Hills Mine has an estimated Ore Reserve of 92.2Mt and a total Resource of 144.8Mt with an estimated 17-year mine life. Up to 200 people are expected to be employed with a significant indigenous workforce target.