Australia’s Metro Mining Ltd announced earlier today that it has commenced bauxite mining at its Bauxite Hills Mine project.
According to the company, the mine is producing at a rate of 2 million metric tons per annum at the outset, with the prospect of tripling output over the coming four years provided expansion capital is acquired. Metro has permission from the relevant authorities to increase production to 10 million metric tons per annum.
The firm has already sold the first batch it brings to the surface at Bauxite Hills, with an initial shipment of 60 thousand metric tons of the ore claimed by Shandong Xinfa Group. The shipment, which is the first of an agreed-to four-year, 7-million-metric-ton offtake agreement between the two entities, is scheduled to be loaded upon a cargo ship on April 19.
Metro’s agreement with Xinfa will have the company supplying the Chinese firm with 1 million metric tons of bauxite the first year, followed by another 2 million metric tons per annum each year for the next three years of the contract.
Managing Director and CEO Simon Finnis opined that the operations at Bauxite Hills will become a major bauxite operation, growing the already-expanding seaborne bauxite trade.
“The Bauxite Hills Mine will become the largest independent mine within the internationally acclaimed Weipa Bauxite Region. Commencement of mining operations is a credit to the entire Metro team. Site Management and the mining, marine and construction personnel have delivered the project in a very short time-frame and are to be congratulated.
“It was an extraordinary achievement to complete most of construction of a world class mine in just five months.”
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.