Alcoa and Bunbury Port Strike Two-Year Deal for Bauxite Export

The Western Australian port city of Bunbury announced on Wednesday that it will export over 2.5 million metric tons of bauxite ore mined from Alcoa’s operations in the region over the next two years.

Bunbury joins Kwinana Bulk Terminal as the area’s two ports approved to handle the export of bauxite ore.

“The port is a key economic driver for Bunbury and the region,” opined Bunbury Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Don Punch. “Increased business through our port conducted in a way that is responsible and considerate of any potential community concerns is a huge positive for our community.”

“The McGowan Labor Government is committed to supporting the continued growth of the port and new trade like this shows our faith in the port and its contribution to jobs and economic development is well-founded,” he concluded.

Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance chief executive officer Matt Granger hailed the decision as an excellent opportunity for Alcoa and the Southern Ports Authority, and affirming the area as fertile ground for new export opportunities.

“New export projects translate into extra jobs at the port and throughout the supply chain. This includes jobs in the haulage component and in planning and building improved infrastructure at the port to handle the bauxite.”

According to local media, the bauxite will be stockpiled in an unused coal bunker facility that was once part of the Bunbury Power Station beginning early next month. Stockpiles will be no taller than 23 feet, and Alcoa is planning to take measures to limit dust, including employing water carts, cannons, and sprinklers.

Authority chief executive officer Nicolas Fertin says the two-year deal, which is expected to be followed by a longer-term deal in the near future, was made in order to take advantage of the improved bauxite market.

“We have worked together with Alcoa to develop a plan for export of bauxite that will ensure the cumulative impact of port operations on the community of Bunbury is not increased,” he explained.

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