Yesterday Australia’s Metro Mining Ltd. announced the signing of a new contract with a state-owned aluminium firm in the People’s Republic of China for delivery of 420 thousand wet metric tons of bauxite ore to be delivered by year’s end.
Though Metro declined to name the firm, it said the company operated refineries in four different provinces, with the bauxite ore under contract destined for a refinery in Shanxi that is currently operating at below capacity. Metro says the company is modifying the refinery at present in order to accept bauxite ore harvested from Metro’s mine at Bauxite Hills.
Metro did not specify an exact price for the bauxite ore beyond noting it is based on market prices plus the usual bonus and penalty clauses used in most such contracts.
With this contract Metro has sold about 90 percent of its planned production this year, which is projected at between 3.3 million and 3.5 million wet metric tons of bauxite ore. The firm says interest in next year’s harvest continues to be robust as well.
“We are delighted to have finalised anew off-take agreement with a major State-Owned Chinese Aluminum Group whom, we believe, has the capacity to be another long term off-take partner,” said Metro’s managing director Simon Finnis in a press release.
“We have now successfully sold approximately 90% of Metro’s planned 2019 production. This agreement highlights the particular interest being seen from refineries located in the inland provinces where supply of domestic bauxite has been hindered by recent mine closures and environmental audits.”
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.