Metro Mining wins big in Chinese bauxite market

Metro Mining is speeding through 2018 with a series of successes off the back of its Bauxite Hills mine in Queensland.

The company has added two more offtake agreements for its product from Bauxite Hills, which has ramped up towards a targeted annual production rate of two million tonnes (Mt).

Metro’s latest offtake agreements have secured its sales for 2018 and 2019.

The agreements represent around 90 per cent of Metro’s anticipated 2018 production and 80 percent of its 2019 production. They include sales into Henan province in inland China, where supply of domestic bauxite has been hindered by mine closures.

Metro managing director Simon Finnis said, “These agreements are particularly pleasing as 2018 is now largely covered to a number of different customers, and we’ve started to sell material for next year.

“The mine continues to perform well, with all commissioning issues well and truly behind us, and production continuing to increase month on month.”

The new agreements amount to 780,000t bauxite, 74 per cent of which are scheduled for shipments in 2018, while 50 per cent of Bauxite Hills’ planned production of 2Mt this year goes to leading Chinese aluminium company Xinfa.

Finnis said the agreements were another step in earning China’s approval of Metro bauxite and in erecting a stronger foothold in the Chinese market.

Metro’s track record was solidified by its win as Australia’s leading emerging mining company at the 2018 Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie-Boulder last week.

Finnis said, “The award acknowledges the effort of our mine site and support team. The mine was constructed in near record-breaking time and commencement of mining operations, and quick ramp up, has involved considerable dedication, and of course hard work.

“Since April, we have shipped 11 vessels and 689,566t of bauxite.”

Metro reported an estimated reserve of 92.2Mt and total resources of 144.8Mt at the Bauxite Hills mine. The company said it would deliver bauxite into China over a mine life of 17 years.

The Bauxite Hills mine is positioned within the internationally renowned Weipa bauxite region on Cape York, where Metro holds a total tenement of around 1800 square kilometres.