The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has offered Metro Mining a loan facility for stage two of the Bauxite Hills expansion project in Far North Queensland.
NAIF is offering a facility of up to $47.5 million provided through a loan of up to nine years. It would be used for the construction and mobilisation of a floating terminal at Skardon River.
Once the expansion is complete, Bauxite Hills’ production will be upped to six million wet metric tonnes per annum and should be finished by 2021.
The loan win is recognition of the benefits Bauxite Hills brings to the Cape York community, such as significant employment for locals and long-term financial returns.
Approximately 40 per cent of the Bauxite Hills workforce is Indigenous and Metro will continue to provide employment opportunities as the stage two expansion gets under way.
NAIF acting chief executive officer Amanda Copping said the loan offer was further demonstration of the government organisation’s goal to support economic and social development in northern Australia, particularly Indigenous employment.
“Metro has an established track record of providing employment opportunities in the Cape York region,” Copping said.
“We are pleased this support from NAIF will assist the company in its long-term expansion plans with a project that will generate over $500 million in public benefit and create jobs in the Cape.”
Bauxite Hills’ mine life would be extended to 2037 and once the expansion is complete, it will be positioned in the lowest quartile of the global cash cost curve for bauxite producers.
Metro Mining managing director Simon Finnis thanked NAIF for its support.
“We are very pleased to have secured the support of NAIF in providing a long-term loan to provide financing for the stage two expansion,” Finnis said.
“Bauxite Hills will be a significant contributor to the economy of northern Australia and a large employer from the surrounding communities for many years to come.”