Australia’s Metro Mining Ltd. said this week that its board of directors has approved a capacity increase at Bauxite Hills Mine of almost 43 percent.
Per the firm, a feasibility study indicates that the Bauxite Hills Mine is well positioned to increase from its current yearly production of 4.0 wet metric tons (WMT) to 7.0 WMT. The firm has already signed a deal to sell 5 million WMT next year and 6 million WMT in 2024.
As part of the increase in output at Bauxite Hills Mine, the company has approved the purchase of another Floating Crane Barge (FCB), which it estimates will cost around A$28.3 million. All improvements necessary for the expansion are expected to be in place by the end of next year.
Metro’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Simon Wensley elaborated on the situation in a related press release.
“The completion of the expansion DFS confirms Bauxite Hills Mine as a highly profitable, low-cost, long life producer of good quality bauxite. This brownfield expansion is low risk and low capital expenditure, with 100% binding offtake now confirmed for 2023 and 2024 with our established customer Xinfa, and no further approvals required. The choice of a Second Floating Crane Barge makes enormous sense given the experience we have gained and we expect to gain a number of operational efficiencies from running two Floating Cranes.”
“Expanding to 7 M WMT pa is perfectly timed to respond to bauxite market conditions expected to be very strong in the next few years,” he continued. “The scale benefits mean that the prospective financial returns are outstanding and I thank Greenstone and Lambhill for their support to move immediately to accelerate implementation.”
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.