A Brisbane-based exploration and mining company is just months away from recruiting hundreds of staff for its $40 million mine in Far North Queensland.
Metro Mining expects to start construction during the second half of 2017 at its Bauxite Hills Project, 95km north of Weipa.
It comes as the proponent doubles its direct shipping ore reserve to 96.5 million tonnes by combining the Bauxite Hills Project with the neighbouring $41 million Skardon River Project, 80km north of Weipa. QMEB has learnt the combined project will employ up to 200 people and have a 30 per cent indigenous workforce target.
Metro revealed basic infrastructure including airstrip, haul roads and port location are already in place.
“The Bauxite Hills Mine will become one of the largest independent operations within the internationally acclaimed Weipa Bauxite Region,” Metro managing director Simon Finnis says.
“Combining the two stand-alone projects will improve capital and operating efficiencies, regulatory approvals, project financing and enhance product marketing opportunities. Simply put, we have a significant long life, low capital cost and high margin Australian bauxite project.”
In 2016, Metro signed a binding offtake agreement with China-based Xinfa Group for 7Mt of bauxite to be delivered over the initial four years of mining.
UK-based Greenstone Resources previously invested $8.9 million in Metro and conditionally committed to investing a further $US20 million in mine development costs. Native Title and Land Access Agreements were also finalised before Christmas 2016.
Metro is still preparing the bankable feasibility study and will advertise all job vacancies on Seek.com.au.