Roskill notes that Metro Mining of Australia has secured the final environmental approval for its Bauxite Hills project in Queensland. This follows the Commonwealth Government granting its approval for the Bauxite Hills project component of the Bauxite Hills mine. Metro is aiming to commence construction in July and first production is targeted for Q2 2018. The environmental approval allows for output of up to 10 Mt/y. Last October, Metro signed a binding bauxite offtake agreement with the Chinese aluminium giant Xinfa Group.
As Roskill further comments, “another bauxite project in the region is Rio Tinto’s $1.9 billion Amrun project which aims to produce 23 Mt/y and is scheduled to commence in H1 2019.
“China’s demand for high-quality bauxite and uncertainty following further extensions of the bauxite mining moratorium in Malaysia, has meant Australian ore has become increasingly sought after. Roskill anticipates Chinese alumina refineries will import in the region of 60 Mt of bauxite during 2017, with Australia accounting for around a third of this.”
Roskill’s Metallurgical Bauxite & Alumina: Global Industry, Markets and Outlook report was published in February 2016.