Metro Mining plans to elevate Bauxite Hill’s production capacity by 75%

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

   The Australian exploration and mining company, Metro Mining has announced its plans to augment the annual bauxite production capacity at the Bauxite Hills Mine from 4 million to 7 million wet metric tonnes per annum (M WMT pa) in 2023.

  The Bauxite Hills Mine has been operating in Western Cape York since 2018.  The mine is located 95 km north of Weipa.
  In its "Stage 2" expansion, Metro proposes to spend $28.3 million to purchase a second floating crane barge, upgrade existing screening and conveying equipment, and expand haulage and transhipping operations.
  Simon Wensley, the Managing Director and CEO of Metro Mining said, “The expansion plan, which is subject to financing, had been underpinned by the signing of additional binding offtake agreements with China’s Xinfa Group. Xinfa, Metro’s foundation customer, is one of the largest integrated aluminium companies in China and Metro has agreed to supply an additional 3.3 M WMT in 2024 on a FOB basis to Xinfa.”
  “This brownfield expansion is very low risk and relatively low capital and can occur without further environmental or regulatory approvals,” Wensley added.
  The bauxite mine’s expansion plan has been outlined in an updated Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed at the same time as the offtake agreements.
  In its economic evaluation of expansion, the Expansion DFS targets a production/sales rate of 6.0 M WMT per annum over a 15-year mine life, delivering outstanding returns with a 78% internal rate of return, and payback in less than 2 years, and annual revenue of $290 M.
  “The completion of the DFS confirms the Bauxite Hills Mine is a highly profitable, low-cost, long-life producer of quality bauxite and is perfectly timed to respond to bauxite market conditions expected to be very strong in the next few years,” Wensley said.
  “An additional floating crane makes enormous sense and we expect to obtain several operational efficiencies from running the two Floating Cranes.”
  The company employs around 250 people, with Indigenous workers making up about 30% of the workforce. The employees are mostly from the Cairns and Cape York regions.
  “In addition to providing employment opportunities, Metro is proud of its considerable economic contribution to both Cape York and the broader Far North Queensland Region,” Wensley concluded by saying.

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