Metro shifts down a gear at Bauxite Hills

Metro Mining is set to reduce activity at the Bauxite Hills mine in Far North Queensland over the next three months.

The move follows Metro’s planned shut-down for Bauxite Hills operating activities for the wet season, after its final ship for 2019 completed loading on December 23.

Metro will use this downtime to focus on equipment and road maintenance, mine planning for the year and general site improvements.

The company plans to recommence Bauxite Hills operations in April.

Metro has also achieved its revised 2019 production and shipping guidance of 3.3–3.5 million wet metric tonnes, producing 1.2 million and shipping 1.25 million during the December quarter.

The company lowered its production guidance from 3.4–3.6 million tonnes last year, following an unusual wind pattern that disrupted shiploading.

“The quarter produced another solid result for Bauxite Hills with mining and shipping levels as anticipated,” Metro stated in an ASX announcement.

“All aspects of the logistics chain performed well. Mining and haulage continue to benefit from high machine availabilities, the barge loading facility is operating at or above required levels and shiploading rates have been assisted by high operator productivity.

“Despite initial signs of commencement of the wet season from mid-December, operating conditions both on land and in the sea-state continued to be favourable during the quarter.”

Metro has also prepared 38 hectares of mined-out area for revegetation, which are ready for seeding during the wet season.

The board of Metro will also reach its final decision on the Bauxite Hills stage two expansion after the completion of detailed engineering and design work.

This will lift Bauxite Hills’ operating production rate to six million wet metric tonnes a year by 2021.

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