Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) announced yesterday that the first sale from its Bald Hill mine is now a done deal after having received full payment for the 5,557 metric tons of bauxite on schedule.
The sale is an important landmark for the Australian bauxite business, as the Bald Hill mine is the continent’s first new bauxite operation in over three-and-a-half decades.
“Bauxite is an ideal product [for cement] if it meets certain engineering specifications, which luckily ours does from Tasmania,” said Australian Bauxite CEO Ian Levy.
“We’ve also found a market in the fertiliser industry which is very encouraging. Those two industries are growth industries and they will be the industry we’ll focus on for the next 18 months.”
The firm has been attempting to sell 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.
According to ABx, the shipment left Bell Bay in northern Tasmania on April 28. The firm went on to say that a second sale, of between 30,000 and 40,000 metric tons, is on track to be made within the next two months.
“Plan A and plan B were to sell bauxite into the aluminium industry in China and India respectively, and both of those markets were closed to us all of a sudden from late October to the middle of December last year. Luckily we had a plan C, and ‘C’ stands for cement. We had all the approvals in place and luckily we were able to go back out to the market and find a market in the cement industry,” explained Levy.
ABx did not indicate to whom the sale in question was made.