Aurukun’s much-hyped bauxite mine on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula will not be going ahead after the State Government announced last night that both development proposals for the project have been deemed “insufficient”.
The news comes as a bitter blow to the people of Aurukun, south of Weipa, who had been promised by the State Government, a project that would create hundreds of jobs and inject millions of dollars into the local economy.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said, “after a considered assessment, the Government had decided not to accept two existing proposals to develop the Aurukun bauxite deposit because benefits for local communities were deemed to be insufficient, and timeframes for delivery of those benefits too long.”
“Our government shifted the focus away from a refinery and instead made the primary goal to deliver benefits to the people of Aurukun,” Mr Seeney said.
“In November 2012, we opened an Expressions of Interest process inviting proposals from companies interested in developing these bauxite deposits.
“We wanted proponents we could rely on to get this mine up and running in a reasonable timeframe and who could make a long term commitment to Queensland for the benefit of the traditional owners of Aurukun.”
Mr Seeney said the Queensland Government was determined to avoid the mistakes of the past, where companies were granted rights but were later unable deliver on the commitments they made.
“After carefully considering the proposals, the Government is not satisfied that either bid – from the Australian Indigenous Resources Pty Ltd (AIR) or Glencore International AG – could deliver what the Government had hoped for in a timely manner ,” he said.
“We have decided to bring this process to a close and revisit this development opportunity at a later date, rather than take a chance that the objectives might one day be satisfied by one of the proponents.
“The State Government remains interested in developing this resource for the benefit of the local community of Aurukun and all Queenslanders.
“Our door remains open to proposals which would develop these resources in a timely fashion, and to other resource developments on the Cape that have the potential to deliver economic benefits.”