Metro Mining has reported a bumper quarter for its Bauxite Hills mine on Cape York, shipping 1.415 million wet metric tonnes of bauxite.
The shipments exceeded the forecast budget by 13 per cent in the September quarter, keeping the company on track to meet its 2019 production and shipping guidance of 3.3-3.5 million WMT.
Engineering modifications on the overland conveyor system at the Barge Loading Facility were completed, resulting in record barge loading rates being achieved last month, Metro said.
The company said the operation was continuing to record month-on-month increases in mining and shipping levels.
“Greater consistency and therefore improved productivity are evident across all aspects of the logistics chain,” it said in a market update.
“Mining and haulage are benefiting from excellent machine availabilities, the barge loading facility is now sustainable at higher levels, and shiploading rates have been assisted by better productivity and returning Ocean Going Vessels that have previously performed efficiently.
“As expected for this period of the year drier operating conditions on land and calmer sea-state conditions have also assisted.”
Work advances on expansion plans
Metro Mining recently announced the completion of an updated definitive feasibility study for the Stage 2 expansion of Bauxite Hills.
The $51.4 million expansion project would see annual production ramp up to 6 million WMT by 2021.
Metro has appointed Rocktree Consulting to complete the engineering, design and supplier quotation for a floating terminal at the centre of the plans to boost production.
The company said that work was expected to be completed in November.
It said all of Metro’s planned 2019 production of 3.5 million WMT had been sold and interest in Bauxite Hills ore remained strong for delivery from 2020 onwards.