Australia’s Metro Mining Ltd. updated investors on operations at Bauxite Hills Mine yesterday, noting that adverse weather conditions led to issues with delivering the volume of bauxite ore projected for the current month.
Upon resuming production after an unexpected pause resulting from a late-season cyclone, Metro completed expansion at the site with the on-time installation of a duplicate screening infrastructure at the port and the slightly-delayed integration of new 7 thousand metric ton barges and triple-set trailers. Metro notes that the installation of both items yielded a noticeable increase in production levels.
Though wet conditions hampered mining early on and concentration on production from a deposit farther distant from port limited haulage operations, Metro made up for a great deal of lost ground thanks to the enhanced infrastructure mentioned above. Additionally, as mining of a deposit closer to the port facilities is scheduled for this month, the firm expects production totals to continue to rise.
Metro noted that transhipments and shiploading began at the port in mid-April in earnest. An unforeseen large and long-lasting swell condition at the port slowed loading significantly in late may, however. The unusual swell conditions and resultant lull in loading means that the firm revised downward its yearly production guidance by between 220 thousand and 240 thousand metric tons to a new projected total of between 3.3 million and 3.5 million metric tons for the full year.
“Whilst these weather events are frustrating, I am really pleased to see how the operations are now performing following commissioning of all elements of the expansion and upgrade program,” said Simon Finnis, Metro Mining’s Managing Director and CEO. “We remain committed to achieving our updated 2019 Production Guidance.”
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.