PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A definitive feasibility study on Stage 2 of the Bauxite Hills mine, in Queensland, has estimated that it would require a capital investment of A$51.4-million to increase production from the current 3.5-million tonnes a year to six-million tonnes a year.
ASX-listed Metro Mining on Monday said that the expanded project would have a pay-back period of less than 18 months, with life-of-mine unit operating costs forecast to reduce by some 18% once the project operates at the six-million-tonne-a-year production rate.
The key components of the Stage 2 expansion include the construction and mobilsiation of a floating terminal with the ability to load six-million tonnes a year of bauxite, the scale-up of the current mining, haulage and transshipment fleets, and optimising and upgrading the existing port and barge loading facilities.
Based on a reserve of 109.5-million tonnes, the project is expected to have a mine life until 2037.
“The completion of the feasibility study and selection of the preferred design for the floating terminal is a key step to allow execution of the expansion at Bauxite Hills by 2020,” said Metro MD and CEO Simon Finnis.
“It builds on the outstanding production performance and operating experience gained since the mine commenced production in April 2018. We have some further work to do on the final design, and we need to finalise the funding package, and then we will present to the board for their approval.”
Finnis noted that a production target of four-million tonnes a year has been set for 2020, followed by the full expansion to six-million tonnes a year thereafter.