Apr 08, 2020

Metro marks ‘key milestone’ in NAIF loan process

Metro marks ‘key milestone’ in NAIF loan process

Metro Mining is nearing financial close on a $47.5 million NAIF loan facility for Bauxite Hills after receiving State backing for the proposal.

The Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility funds would go towards the construction and mobilisation of a floating loading terminal as part of the Stage 2 expansion of the Cape York bauxite operation.

The company described the State Government’s support for the loan’s progression, through its decision to not exercise its veto right, as one of the last key milestones to reach financial close.

“We were pleased to secure the loan offer from NAIF and delighted the Queensland State Government has supported our expansion plans, which will greatly benefit our stakeholders in Northern Australia – the purpose of NAIF,” Metro Mining managing director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis said.

“I would like to acknowledge the support we received from our Federal and State Members of Parliament and ministers. We also received considerable assistance from NAIF and State Treasury officers. It has been a most professional experience.”

Metro resumed mining and haulage operations at the Bauxite Hills mine last week after its scheduled wet season break.

A company update reported that, despite the usual wet conditions in the early days of each operating season, the day-shift team had exceeded budgeted rates using the six triple-trailers now on site.

Mr Finnis said the company expected to have about 130,000 tonnes of screened and unscreened material on the ROM by the time it started loaded the first ship next week, weather permitting.

He said he was extremely pleased with the manner in which the entire Metro team and sub-contractors had risen to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 situation and the host of new regulations being implemented in the workplace.