Metro Mining Limited has announced that its first ship for the 2020 operational year began loading yesterday. The shipment is the first this year to Xinfa who will purchase approximately 2.0 Million dry metric tonnes (DMT) under existing offtake arrangements in 2020.
Land-based activities at the Bauxite Hills mine commenced on 2 of April on day shift only, moving to the regular 24 hours a day, seven days a week basis on the 8th of April.
Metro Mining notes that favourable weather conditions have allowed mining to get off to an ‘excellent start’ with 142,000 Wet Metric Tonnes (WMT) of bauxite mined, and of that, 106,000 WMT have been screened to date.
As of the 14th, all barges were fully loaded with 28,000 WMT of bauxite ahead of the arrival of the ship named Vialli.
With the commissioning of the three new triple trailer sets there are six sets available, and the benefit of the enlarged fleet is already evident with daily records for haulage being achieved.
The return of the majority of the company’s team members has also aided in the efficient restart.
Strong screening throughput rates are also being achieved, despite the inherent moisture in the bauxite post wet season. In the past few days, the Metro team has achieved screening rates of 850tph which is a significant increase on the average of 550tph achieved last year.
The land-based operational teams have now been joined by the transhipping crews on-site and the Bauxite Hills Mine is said to be at full strength and running efficiently.
The procedures that have been put in place for COVID-19 have reportedly been embraced by all on-site and, to date, have been successful with no impact on operations from the virus.
Metro Mining Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Simon Finnis, said it has been an excellent start to the year in trying times amidst all the operational changes that had to be implemented to deal with the risk of COVID-19.
“To put the results into context, last year we only had 47,000 WMT mined and hauled prior to the commencement of ship loading activities. Our workforce has had to make adjustments to their working lives, including some who have relocated to Cairns; I applaud and thank everyone for their efforts.”