Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) announced yesterday that its wholly-owned subsidiary ABx3 Pty Ltd applied for a mining lease at the Sunrise Bauxite Project in order to begin extraction at its Binjour Bauxite Discovery in Queensland.
Per the company, the A$15-million project is fully funded by partner Rawmin Mining, and it has thus far had cordial relations with local landowners. The application covers a land area of approximately 740 acres, and ABx says it will negotiate with landowners in private as soon as coronavirus-related travel restrictions are lifted.
Upon approval, the project is expected to bring together smaller bauxite projects in the area into a long-term supply chain for gibbsite-rich bauxite. Such bauxite is easier to refine into alumina due to the lower temperature needed to separate out impurities.
Ultimately the project will market 500 thousand metric tons per year of the gibbsite-rich trihydrate (THA) bauxite. Resources at the site are estimated at 37 million metric tons, with operations for the first decade to concentrate on the high-grade zones that need less processing.
Shipping of the bauxite from the project will likely proceed through the port of Bundaberg, as ABx has a Memorandum of Understanding with port operations.
In addition to gibbsite-rich bauxite, ABx notes that the play may yield very high grade bauxite from detrital bauxite in the area, which may be utilized to make more high-value products. According to recent research, the detrital bauxite may be used to create a clean, low-clay concentrate of rutile, which is the main mineral of titanium ore.
Based in Sydney, ABx conducts operations in Tasmania, Queensland, and New South Wales. The firm boasts combined JORC resources of 124 million metric tons in twenty-two tenements covering almost two thousand square kilometers in Eastern Australia. Its Binjour tenement in Queensland is considered by the company to be its flagship project.