Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has congratulated Rio Tinto on achieving its first shipment of bauxite from its Amrun project on Cape York six weeks early.
Minister Canavan said the 80,000 tonne shipment was now heading to Gladstone in Central Queensland for processing.
“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.
“More than 1,200 people worked on the site during construction, with 178 of them being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
“Across Queensland the project has awarded more than $1.5 billion in contracts to suppliers, supporting upwards of 770 Queensland businesses and 17 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
“Last financial year, the bauxite mined on the Western Cape contributed to the $4.3 billion received in royalties for Queensland and supported 766 fulltime jobs in the region – a huge contribution on both fronts.
“Shipping the raw product to Gladstone for refining further contributes to the wealth and jobs of that city.”
The September 2018 Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) forecast that Australia’s aluminium, alumina and bauxite export earnings would be maintained at $14 billion this financial year.
Australia’s bauxite production is projected to grow at an annual average rate of 8.3 per cent, to 108 million tonnes next financial year.
The Amrun project is forecast to reach its full annual production rate of almost 23 million tonnes next year.