First ar­rival of baux­ite at Yar­wun from new mine


Central Telegraph - - CQ INDUSTRY -

THE first ship­ment of baux­ite from the $2.6 bil­lion Am­run mine made its 2000km sea jour­ney and ar­rived at Rio Tinto Yar­wun this week.

More than 80,000 tonnes were un­loaded from the ship RTM Weipa and de­liv­ered to the Yar­wun re­fin­ery on Mon­day, fol­low­ing its voy­age from Am­run’s Chith Ex­port fa­cil­ity near Weipa last week.

Rio Tinto Yar­wun gen­eral man­ager Mark Gil­more said the de­liv­ery, made six weeks ahead of sched­ule, marked a mile­stone for the com­pany.

“It not only marks the start of ad­di­tional sup­ply to our two alu­mina re­finer­ies and smelter in Glad­stone but will sup­port China’s sig­nif­i­cant im­port needs for decades to come,” Mr Gil­more said.

“Am­run has pro­vided a ma­jor boost to the Queens­land econ­omy, and will con­tinue to do so, not only on Cape York Penin­sula, but also here in Glad­stone.”

The Far North Queens­land mine will re­place pro­duc­tion from the de­plet­ing East Weipa mine and in­crease an­nual baux­ite ex­ports by around 10 mil­lion tonnes.

Am­run is ex­pected to reach a full pro­duc­tion rate of 22.8 mil­lion tonnes a year dur­ing 2019.

The more than 80,000 tonne cargo is set to be re­fined and smelted in Glad­stone at the Yar­wun and Queens­land Alu­mina Lim­ited re­finer­ies and Boyne Smelter.

Mem­ber for Glad­stone Glenn Butcher said since the mine was ap­proved in 2015 the gov­ern­ment worked closely with Rio Tinto to en­sure lo­cal busi­nesses and em­ploy­ees were en­gaged.

“Rio Tinto is a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to Queens­land with its baux­ite to alu­minium sup­ply chain in­vest­ing A$3.7 bil­lion in Aus­tralian wages, sup­pli­ers and com­mu­nity con­tri­bu­tions ev­ery year,” he said.

Mem­ber for Cook Cyn­thia Lui said Am­run’s devel­op­ment meant con­fi­dence in the fu­ture for the lo­cal com­mu­nity in Weipa.

“Lo­cal em­ploy­ment and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties are so im­por­tant to the com­mu­ni­ties of the Cook elec­torate, and as I said in my maiden speech in Par­lia­ment ear­lier this year, I want to work with the min­ing in­dus­try to in­crease lo­cal em­ploy­ment in the in­ter­ests of both lo­cal res­i­dents and the com­pa­nies.”

Weipa has been the heart of Queens­land’s baux­ite min­ing in­dus­try for more than 50 years and sup­plies the raw prod­uct used to pro­duce 10 per cent of the world’s alu­minium.

The Am­run pro­ject is ex­pected to add around 10 mil­lion tonnes to the state’s baux­ite ex­ports.

READY TO UN­LOAD: RTM Weipa's first de­liv­ery of baux­ite to Rio Tinto Yar­wun on De­cem­ber 10.

Rio Tinto Yar­wun gen­eral man­ager Mark Gil­more with main­te­nance ser­vices man­ager Dave O'Brien at the first de­liv­ery of baux­ite from RTM Weipa on De­cem­ber 10.

Baux­ite un­loaded at Rio Tinto Yar­wun.

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