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Metro Mining update on bauxite hills operations

Thursday, Mar 07, 2019

   Metro Mining Ltd provide an update on operations at the Bauxite Hills Mine 95 kms north ot Weipa on western Cape York. As planned, with the start of the Far North Queensland wet season, mining operations ceased in late December 2018. Over the last two months, focus has been on undertaking planned maintenance on site infrastructure and completing preparatory work for installation of the capital items associated with the expansion and upgrade program. The company's transition to owner operator is progressing as planned. All senior management positions have been filled and recruitment of operators is well advanced. Mining is scheduled to commence in mid-March with the intention of building significant stockpiles of screened and unscreened material prior to transhipping operations commencing.

  The upgrade to the 3.5 million tonne per annum production rate remains on time and on budget. The duplicate screen and grizzly will be commissioned in late March, the triple trailer sets will be delivered to the Port of Darwin for barging to Skardon River in time to coincide with the ramp-up in mining rates and the larger tug and barges will be introduced to the marine fleet in April.
  Refreshment of the Definitive Feasibility Study for the Stage 2 Expansion to 6Mtpa is progressing well and expected to be delivered in Q2 this year. If approved by the Board, the expansion would represent a scale step-change in the project providing the opportunity to lower unit costs and significantly enhance operational efficiencies.
  The bauxite market remains strong with Chinese Imports in January at 5-year highs and the CBIX bauxite Index remaining strong at USD 51.90/DMT. Whilst there has been commentary about the market impact of the Malaysian export ban being lifted, given Government requirements that only washed bauxite can be exported, any impact on the seaborne market is likely to be gradual.
  Metro’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Simon Finnis said that “The inclement weather hasn't dampened the performance of our site maintenance and operations team, and I congratulate them and the support teams working in Cairns and Brisbane for their efforts. Everything is on track to achieve our 2019 Production Guidance of 3.5 million tonne per annum of bauxite. We are looking forward to seeing the results of the updated DFS for the 6Mt expansion which, if approved, would represent a major step change in our Bauxite Hills operation.”

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