Dec 06, 2016

Metro Mining claims win in Gulf war

Metro Mining claims win in Gulf war

Metro Mining says it will become one of the largest independent miners within the internationally acclaimed Weipa bauxite region after a takeover of Gulf Alumina.

It follows a battle for Gulf with Perth-based Moly Mines, which made  its first bid for the company in September.

Metro was previously Gulf’s largest single shareholder holding 39.3 per cent and has has received acceptances from an additional 57.3 per cent of Gulf Alumina shareholders after increasing its offer.

Sydney-based Gulf Alumina owns the advanced Skardon River bauxite project, which adjoins Metro’s Bauxite Hills project 85km north of Weipa on western Cape York.

Metro Mining chief executive officer Simon Finnis.

Metro says the combined projects double its reserve of direct shipping ore  from 48 to 96.5 million tonnes. The company’s production plans will also benefit from cost saving synergies independently estimated at around $200 million.

Metro has previously flagged plans to begin mine construction at Bauxite Hills in the second quarter of 2017, with first shipment scheduled the second quarter of 2018 following the wet season.

Metro Mining chief executive officer Simon Finnis said the takeover was important to all stakeholders, inclusive of shareholders, traditional owners, and State and Federal Governments. There would also be significant benefits to the local economy.

“An expanded Bauxite Hills project will improve efficiency, streamline regulatory approvals, improve financing capabilities and enhanced product marketing opportunities,” he said.

“Metro also gains the established mining lease over Gulf’s tenements and infrastructure including airstrip, haul roads and port location.

“Our sights are firmly set on getting the expanded Bauxite Hills Project operational. This merger will assist us to do that.”

Metro has a binding offtake agreement with China’s Xinfa Group for 7Mt of bauxite to be delivered over the initial four years of mining at Bauxite Hills.

In July, UK based Greenstone Resources invested $8.9 million in the company and conditionally commited to a $US20 million investment towards  the development of Bauxite Hills

Native Title and Land Access Agreements were finalised early this year.