Demand for bauxite is on the rise, with China forecast to boost imports by 51 per cent by 2025, says Metallica Minerals chief executive officer Simon Slesarewich.
Metallica is poised to commence its direct shipping ore operation on Cape York this quarter, pending receipt of its mining lease.
The Urquhart operation is expected to produce 1.5Mtpa of ore, but Metallica is keen to add further bauxite projects to its portfolio to reach 5-7Mtpa within three to five years.
Mr Slesarewich said the company found the commodity attractive as it had a growing and a relatively stable market.
It was specifically looking to feed into Chinese demand and would look to start future projects in the Pacific Basin area, with good logistics for export to China.
Forecasts indicated Chinese bauxite imports would grow from 55.9 million tonnes in 2015 to 84.5 million tonnes in 2025, he said.
LCR Group has been appointed to undertake all mining and haulage operations at the Urquhart bauxite project and Metallica Minerals also recently entered 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 the project.
Meanwhile, Metro Mining this week completed a share placement to raise $38 million, fully funding the planned development of its Bauxite Hills mine on cape York.
Metro managing director Simon Finnis described the response from investors as “exceptional.”
“We are now fully funded and look forward to immediately commencing full construction activities of the Bauxite Hills mine,” he said.
“Metro will become a leading Cape York bauxite producer early next year.”
Proceeds from the raising will be used to fund capital expenditure for the Bauxite Hills mine, financial assurances and environmental costs, pre-production and financing, purchase of haulage equipment and working capital.
Read more about Bauxite Hills and Rio Tinto’s Amrun project in our latest magazine: