An Australian takeover bid for an Asia-backed mining company is hoped to breathe new life into the existing $40 million metal project, employing hundreds of people.
Perth-based Metro Mining has claimed victory in its acquisition battle for China-backed Gulf Alumina, raising speculation the latter’s Skardon River Bauxite Project, 80km north of Weipa, might be rejuvenated. The project has employed 260 people including 100 workers for the construction-phase with the remainder being operational staff.
Metro launched its bid for Gulf in December 2015, offering $41 million in more recent months for all Gulf shares. Metro recently increased its stake to 39 per cent and has received unanimous Board approval for all remaining Gulf shares to be sold to Metro.
The deal means Metro will become one of the Cape York’s leading independent bauxite miners, doubling Metro’s reserve of direct shipping ore from 48 to 96.5 million tonnes. The merger will also save an estimated $200 million in long-term operating costs.
“The combination of Metro and Gulf’s projects is not only important for Metro shareholders it is of vital importance to traditional owners, the local economy and State and Federal Governments. Our sights are firmly set on getting the project operational as soon as possible,” Metro Mining CEO Simon Finnis says.