Australia’s Metro Mining Ltd. announced late last week the successful shipment of its one millionth metric ton of bauxite since beginning operations this spring.
In a press release issued on Friday, Metro Mining revealed that the one millionth metric ton of bauxite ore was loaded onto a bulk carrier as part of a 60 thousand metric ton shipment destined for Xinfa Group in the People’s Republic of China.
In addition to Metro Mining’s lucrative four-year, 7-million-metric-ton offtake agreement, the firm noted that it inked a contract earlier this month with China’s state-run firm State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) for delivery of 300 thousand wet metric tons of bauxite ore to be delivered by year’s end.
Per Metro Mining’s managing director Simon Finnis, sales to 5 different Chinese customers and 17 different shipments of bauxite ore to date have occurred since mining activities began on April 13.
“We have sold our total planned production for this year and currently have around 90% of next year’s production also covered,” explained Finnis.
“We are seeing particularly strong demand for our bauxite from refineries located in inland Chinese provinces where supply of domestic bauxite has been hindered by recent mine closures and environmental audits. Our product specifications are well suited to the processing requirements of these refineries.”
Metro Mining is running at a rate of 2 million metric tons per annum of bauxite ore at present, with plans in the near future to increase production to 6 million metric tons per annum over the coming four years. The firm has state approvals in hand to run at a maximum production rate of 10 million metric tons per annum.
“Production at the Bauxite Hills Mine is steadily increasing and given current demand we are actively looking at ways to increase 2019 production above the current planned rates,” said Finnis.
The Bauxite Hills Mine project sits atop estimated bauxite ore reserves of 92.2 million metric tons and a total resource of 144.8 million metric tons. Metro Mining projects a mine life of 17 years.
Metro Mining is based in Brisbane, and began life when it was spun off from Cape Alumina Ltd. upon its takeover by MetroCoal Ltd in 2014. The firm has exploration rights in over 500 square miles of western Cape York, which is second to only Rio Tinto Alcan.