Metro Ships First Bauxite From Bauxite Hills Mine

Metro Mining has shipped the first direct shipping ore from its Bauxite Hills mine in northern Queensland to the Xinfa Group aluminum company in China. Xinfa has signed a binding agreement with Metro to take 1 million mt of bauxite during the first year of Bauxite Hills operations and 2 million metric tons per year (mt/y) for the following three years. The initial shipment totaled 62,000 mt.

Xinfa owns and operates alumina refineries and aluminum smelters in Shandong, Shanxi, Guangxi and Xinjiang provinces, China. The Bauxite Hills mine is located near the west coast of the Cape York peninsula about 95 km north of Weipa, Queensland. Mining operations began in mid-April 2018. Current mining is based on 92.2 million mt of reserves, sufficient to provide a 17-year mine life. Potential exists to extend mine life by conversion of resources to reserves and through exploration on the company’s approximately 1,800-km2 land package.

Mining at Bauxite Hills is a simple operation, with free-digging bauxite mined by front-end loaders, loaded onto trucks, and hauled between 6 km and 22 km to a barge-loading facility on the Skardon River. Mining is planned at an initial rate of 2 million mt/y, ramping up to a steadystate 6 million mt/y over the first four years. Government approvals are in place to mine up to 10 million mt/y.

Mining operations will be undertaken in the dry season only, approximately an eight-month period from April to November. When fully operational, the mine will employ up to 200 people, with a 30% indigenous workforce target and around 80 people on site at any one time.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 06 -