Rio Tinto Commissions Amrun Bauxite Mine

Rio Tinto completed commissioning of its $1.9 billion Amrun bauxite mine on the Cape York peninsula in northern Queensland in early March. The mine and associated processing and port facilities are located about 40 kilometers (km) south of the companyís existing East Weipa and Andoom mines and will replace depleting production from East Weipa.

Amrun shipped its first bauxite in December, six weeks ahead of schedule. At full production, it will have capacity to produce 22.8 million metric tons per year (mt/y) of bauxite, with options to expand. Rio Tintoís total annual bauxite export capacity from the Cape York peninsula will increase by about 10 million mt at a time when higher-grade bauxite is becoming scarcer globally.

The Amrun mine, plant, and export facility were approved in 2015. In an industry first, the projectís 1-kilometer-long export facility was built in modules offsite and then brought to Amrun and connected, reducing over-water construction and painting and reducing construction time by a year. Safety was also increased by removing the need for 300,000 work hours that would have been spent at height and over water.

As featured in Womp 2019 Vol 04 -