Metro Mining plans to boost bauxite production from its Cape York mine in 2019 in the face of strong customer demand.
A number of upgrades are planned for Bauxite Hills at a cost of about $6.8 million to increase annual production to 3.5 million WMT (wet metric tonnes).
The company said the expansion plans would be predominately implemented in Q1 of 2019 during the planned wet season
shutdown at Bauxite Hills. Long lead items have already been ordered to ensure timely delivery.
“Metro has seen an increase in demand for our bauxite from a range of customers in China,” managing director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis said.
“The operation has now produced over 1.6M WMT of bauxite and we have identified low cost and short lead time initiatives to increase production next year. The pay back on the capital would be well within the 2019 calendar year, an excellent return.
“We have an outstanding platform to incrementally add to sales in 2019, increase operational cashflow, and assess in detail the Stage 2 expansion opportunity”.
Many of the initiatives that will be brought into play to boost production next year were planned as part of the long-term Stage 2 expansion to steady state production of 6 million WMT pa (subject to definitive feasibility study update and board approval).
• Supplementing the current truck and haulage fleet configuration.
• Duplicating screening capacity at the barge loading facility.
• Accelerating installation of a jaw crusher to enable shipment of any oversized material.
• Supplementing the marine fleet and on-water infrastructure to maximise efficiency of tug and barge movements.