Deputy Premier, Jeff Seeney, said since the Government’s decision last March ruling out two other proposals, interest to develop the resource has remained.
“After continuing discussions with a number of parties, the Queensland Government considers Glencore is best placed in terms of both technical capability and financial strength to successfully take on this challenging development, ” Mr Seeney said.
“Selecting Glencore as Preferred Proponent is our best opportunity to see this resource developed and to provide economic benefits not only for the people of Aurukun and Cape York Peninsula, but for all Queenslanders.
Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council, Michael Roche, said the job-creating potential of a new bauxite project on the Cape was welcome news for Queensland, the Far North region and especially the Aurukun community.
‘Cape York needs industry development to deliver jobs and the improved economic and social outcomes that flow from them,’ Mr Roche said.
‘The Cape has vast potential but a recent history of stop-start development proposals has eroded local community confidence.
‘By selecting a tier one resources company such as Glencore as preferred proponent, the state government is giving the Aurukun project every opportunity for success.’
Mr Seeney said over the coming months the Government and Glencore will work together to finalise the commercial arrangements.
“Our highest priority through this process will be that this development delivers genuine outcomes for the community of Aurukun and other Cape communities,” he said.
“Glencore has discussed an improved works schedule and has committed to milestones in the development of the deposit.”
The Aurukun bauxite resource is on the traditional land of the Wik and Wik Way people, located to the east of the town of Aurukun.
Glencore’s Global Head of Aluminium, Mr Andrew Caplan said:“We are grateful to the Queensland Government for the opportunity to progress discussions on the Aurukun Project. We are excited by this opportunity and recognise the importance of this Project to the development of the Cape York regional economy, its communities and traditional owners. ”
Should a satisfactory agreement be reached, Glencore is expected to begin a feasibility study in 2015.