Rio Tinto has completed commissioning of the AU$2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mine on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.
The mine and associated processing and port facilities will replace production from Rio Tinto’s depleting East Weipa mine and will increase the company’s bauxite export capacity by around 10 million tonnes each year.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive J-S Jacques said Amrun was completed early and under budget, demonstrating Rio Tinto’s productivity and innovation capabilities.
“Amrun will provide jobs, support businesses and contribute to growth in the region for the next 50 years, building on AU$2.2 billion of contracts with local, State and national businesses (during construction),” he stated.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan, who attended the event on Friday 8 March which marked the official commissioning of Rio Tinto’s Amrun mine, also said the mine will provide high-quality material for alumina refineries in Queensland and overseas markets.
“We are already the world’s biggest bauxite producer and alumina exporter, and product from the Amrun site is expected to boost our bauxite export capacity,” Minister Canavan said.
“The higher-grade bauxite being mined at Amrun is becoming scarcer around the world, and at the same time, world consumption of alumina is forecast to escalate in coming years. These factors will underpin the future success of the operation, which is expected to have a 50-year life span,” he added.
The mine, plant and export facility were approved in 2015, with a targeted start date of 2019.
In an industry first, Amrun’s 1 kilometre-long export facility was built in modules off-site and then brought to Amrun and connected. This was done to reduce over-water construction and painting in the culturally significant and environmentally sensitive region and reduced construction time by a year. Building the export facility in off-site modules also removed the need for 300,000 work hours that would have occurred at height and over water.
1,200 people worked on site during the peak of the construction period and since the project’s inception, nearly 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been employed by the project.
More information on Rio Tinto’s Amrun project can be found here.