Australian Bauxite announced yesterday that it has loaded and shipped the second batch of cement-grade bauxite from Bell Bay in Tasmania.
The shipment in question, which consists of 35,913 metric tons of bauxite ore, was mined from the firm’s Bald Hill mine. ABx says the shipment was loaded in a record time of 45 hours, or at a rate of 900 metric tons per hour, using four cranes with twelve metric ton clamshell grabs.
The company declined to identify the purchaser or the price at which the ore was purchased, other than to say it was “satisfactorily profitable.”
“We have now demonstrated to all our customers that we can load and ship large tonnage cargos of bauxite very efficiently from Bell Bay Port – an all-weather, 24/7 port that can operate to high standards in all seasons, all year round,” said ABx’s Chief Operating Officer, Leon Hawker. “It also demonstrates that our stockpiles of bauxite performs very well, having withstood the recent major floods in northern Tasmania, without degrading. This is another landmark step for the company.”
“The bauxite is in perfect condition for the cement-grade bauxite customer and is very clean due to rigorous processing by Stornoway contractors at Bald Hill mine and careful transport pit-to-port by TasRail,” explained ABx’s Logistics Manager, Paul Glover. “The exceptional ship loading performance was a result of tight coordination between the many parties involved: namely the ships crew, QUBE stevedores, TasPorts, ship’s agents Monsons Shipping, Independent Inspection Company Briar Maritime and the ABx sampling team.”
The Bald Hill mine is the first new bauxite project in Australia in three-and-a-half decades. ABx reopened the mine ahead of schedule last week in order to gather the third shipment, which it expects to sell early next year.
The firm initially had difficulty selling the 120,000 metric tons of bauxite they extracted from their mine in Campbell Town, Tasmania, last year. AB had a sale lined up with a Chinese buyer for the Bald Hill mine bauxite until December, when the aluminium market fell, taking bauxite prices with it.