Cairns ben­e­fi­ciary of Cape bauxite suc­cess

The Cairns Post - - BUSINESS WEEK - ALI­CIA NALLY ali­cia.nally@news.com.au

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.

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