Anglo-Australian mining titan Rio Tinto Group announced on Friday the completion of commissioning of its Amrun bauxite operations at Cape York, Queensland.
According to the firm, the US$1.9-billion operation will take up the slack from the mine at East Weipa as it exhausts its cache of bauxite ore. Not only will it fill the void left behind by the closing of East Weipa, Rio Tinto says the mine will more than make up for the loss, boosting its annual bauxite export capacity by approximately 10 million metric tons.
“Amrun was completed early and under budget, demonstrating Rio Tinto’s productivity and innovation capabilities,” explained Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques in a statement. “By applying fresh thinking we also delivered safety, environmental, cost and timing benefits.”
“Amrun will provide jobs, support businesses and contribute to growth in the region for the next 50 years, building on $A2.2 billion of contracts with local, State and national businesses [during construction].”
“Weipa’s bauxite will be used to make aluminium for mobile phones, aeroplanes, vehicles and many other applications around the world,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“The Amrun project is one of the sector’s proudest achievements and I am delighted to be visiting this amazing mine and its workers once again.”
Rio Tinto’s Amrun’s 1-kilometer (0.62-mile) export facility was built offsite and transported to Cape York, where the individual modules were matched up and joined with parts previously delivered. Per the firm, this method of construction limited over-water construction and painting at the site as well as hastening construction by a full year. In addition, Rio Tinto says the construction process was significantly safer, as this method sliced 300 thousand hours of construction at height or over water from the usual construction process.
“Game-changing innovations and collaborations such as these are vital for advancing the future of the mining and metals industry globally in a safe, cost-effective and replicable manner,” noted Rio Tinto Growth & Innovation group executive Steve McIntosh.