PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Bauxite developer Metallica Minerals has warned of a possible delay at its proposed Urquhart bauxite project, in Queensland, as the state prepared for an election on November 25.
The company said on Thursday that while it had received advice from the state government that the Urquhart mining lease could still be granted under the caretaker government protocols currently in place, the company had to factor in an administrative delay linked to these protocols and a new government being sworn in following the election outcome.
“While the delay to the mining lease approval is disappointing for the company and its shareholders, we remain confident the mining lease is most likely to be granted soon after the formation of a new government,” Metallica CEO Simon Slesarewich said.
Should an administrative delay occur, the deferred timing should see the operations and production start at the end of the coming wet season, in either March or April 2018.
The Urquhart project, which received federal approval in August this year, remains fully funded, with mining and haulage contracts already in place.
The Urquhart project is expected to produce between 1.5-million and 2-million tonnes a year of direct shipping bauxite, with the project poised to deliver its first product in the third quarter of this year.