Rio Tinto has successfully delivered the first shipment of bauxite from their Amrun project in Queensland, six weeks ahead of schedule.
A ceremony was held on the Western Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland on Monday to mark the monumental 80,000 tonnes of first shipment leaving the project which is forecast to arrive in Gladstone next week.
The AU$2.6 billion Amrun mine is set to replace production from the depleting East Weipa mine and increase annual bauxite exports by around 10 million tonnes.
Rio Tinto Aluminium Chief Executive Alf Barrios said that bringing Amrun online further strengthens their position as a leading supplier in the seaborne market.
“We have the largest bauxite resources in the industry and are geographically well positioned to supply China’s significant future import needs, as well as supporting our refinery and smelting operations in Australia and New Zealand.”
“The Amrun mine will ensure generational jobs for Queenslanders and build significantly on our 55-year history on the Western Cape,” he added.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, congratulated Rio Tinto on the first shipment from the Amrun project.
“We are already the world’s biggest bauxite producer and alumina exporter, and product from the Amrun site is expected to boost our bauxite exports by another 10 million tonnes per year,” Minister Canavan said.
“This means ongoing and new jobs for Queenslanders, with an ongoing workforce of around 290 by the end of this year,” he added.
1,200 people worked on site during the Amrun’s peak construction period, with 178 of them being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Amrun is expected to reach a full production rate of 22.8 million tonnes a year during 2019.
More information on the Amrun project can be found here.