Cairns beneficiary of Cape bauxite success
A NEW mining operation in Cape York is already positively affecting businesses in Cairns.
Production has commenced at Metro Mining’s Bauxite Hills Mine, 95km north of Weipa on Western Cape York, with about two million tonnes per annum expected to be mined in the first year.
The rate will increase to six million tonnes a year over the first four years of its operation. Government approvals are in place to mine up to 10 million tonnes per annum.
Cairns Chamber of Commerce president Nick Loukas said the start of the project boded well for the Cairns economy.
“Any expansion of those mining activities in the Cape is good for the whole of Far North Queensland and certainly has flow-on effects to Cairns,” he said.
“I believe that one is quite a major mine and I’m already aware of businesses getting work out of that.
“There are immediate benefits coming to Cairns’s miningbased businesses from that project.”
The first 60,000 tonne shipment from the mine has been bought by the Xinfa Group, one of the largest integrated aluminium companies in China.
Xinfa has significant refining and smelting operations in Shandong, Shanxi, Guangxi and Xinjiang Provinces.
Metro Mining has a fouryear binding agreement to supply Xinfa with one million tonnes in the first year followed by two million tonnes per annum for three years.
Managing director and chief executive Simon Finnis said the Bauxite Hills Mine would be a globally significant bauxite mining operation and would feed the ever-growing seaborne bauxite market.
“The Bauxite Hills Mine will become the largest independent mine within the internationally acclaimed Weipa bauxite region,” he said.
“Mine construction was largely completed in just five months between July last year and the onset of the region’s wet season in December. PH: 07 4033 6944
“Site management, mining, marine and construction contract personnel have delivered the project in a very short time-frame and are to be congratulated.”
The onset of Cyclone Nora in late March required the evacuation of most personnel from the site but mining operations were only delayed by one week.
The Bauxite Hills Mine has an estimated ore serve of 92.2 tonnes and a total resource of 144.8 tonnes with an estimated 17-year mine life.
Up to 200 people are expected to be employed with a significant number of indigenous people engaged on the project. 1/472 Mulgrave Rd, Earville QLD 4870
RICH RESERVES: Metro’s haul trucks unloading bauxite from the mine onto the stockpile at Bauxite Hills Mine, 95 kilometres north of Weipa on Western Cape York.
OPTIMISM: Metro Mining chief executive Simon Finnis.