Australia’s Metro Mining Ltd. announced yesterday the resumption of operations at its Bauxite Hills Mine this month upon the conclusion of northern Australia’s wet season.
The firm said operations at the site would begin again on 19 April, putting back to work about 120 individuals on site and another 130 contractors to the mine.
The mine’s restart will kick off a push to mine and ship 4 million wet metric tons of bauxite through the end of December. Just over half that output is contracted to Xinfa, with negotiations to sell the remaining bauxite ore currently well underway.
Metro reiterated that its long-term strategy is to reach a run rate of 6 million wet metric tons per annum. The biggest portion of Metro’s second stage of the build-out at the site involves the construction of a floating terminal that will allow for faster loading of larger ore vessels.
Metro Mining Managing Director and CEO Simon Finnis said the firm is eagerly anticipating resuming work at the site.
“The Metro team and our contracting partners are keen to get back to work and we are in the fortunate position of being able to welcome back many people who have experience working at Bauxite Hills before. We have implemented several operational changes that will improve efficiencies, and will continue to focus on mining and shipping rates and lowering operational costs, as we are always looking for improvements in our systems and processes. From what we’re seeing in the market and from our ongoing negotiations, the demand for Metro bauxite is returning, and confidence is returning to the market more widely.”
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.