Metro Mining has received State Government environmental approvals for the Bauxite Hills project, north of Weipa, keeping on schedule to begin construction next month.
The company also announced it had secured the $40 million debt financing required to develop the bauxite mine.
Metro is developing its Bauxite Hills project with the previously approved Skardon River bauxite project, acquired in a takeover of Gulf Alumina.
Managing director Simon Finnis said final Commonwealth approvals were expected in the near future.
“We have significantly reduced the social and environmental impacts, and optimised the economic returns by combining two projects,” Mr Finnis said.
“Mine development is under way and we are on schedule to begin mining construction in Q3 2017 and first shipment in Q2 next year.”
Sprott Private Resource Lending and Ingatatus AG Pty Ltd have been selected to provide the $40 million debt financing for the project, replacing Metro’s existing $15 million short term debt facility.
Metro has an initial four-year, 7 million tonne binding offtake agreement with Xinfa Group – one of the largest integrated aluminium companies in China.
The company has also secured an offtake letter-of-intent with Lubei Chemicals – China’s fifth largest bauxite importer.
Once fully operational, the Bauxite Hills mine is expected employ up to 200 people, with a 30 per cent indigenous workforce target.
Basic infrastructure including airstrip, haul roads, camp and port location are already in place.
Meanwhile Metallica Minerals this week announced that it had entered into binding agreements with Ngan Aak-Kunch Aboriginal Corporation (NAK) on behalf of the Wik and Wik Way People in regard to native title, cultural heritage management and landholder compensation for its Urquhart bauxite project.
These agreements are required by the State prior to the grant of a mining lease for the Project and represent a significant milestone in the development of the Project and its targeted commencement in Q3 CY2017.
“Metallica would like to thank the NAK for their co-operation and look forward to a long and beneficial relationship with traditional land owners,” chief executive officer Simon Slesarewich said.
“The agreement is required by the State prior to the issue of a mining lease. Metallica is now looking to finalising the grant of a mining lease that targets production in Q3 CY2017.”