Metro Mining Ltd (ASX:MMI) has achieved its production guidance for 2018 shipping 2.037 million wet metric tonnes from its Bauxite Hills mine in north Queensland.
As planned, the 33rd and final vessel for 2018 completed loading on the 28 December and has departed for China.
Notably, despite Cyclone Owen’s December impact, 220,000 tonnes of bauxite was still loaded this month.
Metro’s managing director and CEO Simon Finnis said: “This is a great result for Metro; not only have we achieved guidance for 2018 in our first operational year, but we’ve done so after our operations have twice been interrupted by cyclones, at either end of the operating year.
“It is testament to our dedicated people on site that they’ve maintained focus and achieved our goals.”
Mining to be taken in-house
Metro has also decided to transition to owner-operator for the mining operation, and as a result has terminated the mining services agreement with SAB Mining.
With mining and shipping complete for 2018 and the wet season beginning, Metro will recommence operations in April 2019.
Metro expects no disruptions to operational activities from this change and has already commenced transitioning to the owner-operator model.
Finnis added: “Now that we’ve commissioned and ramped up the project during 2018, it is a natural transition to own and operate our mining equipment.
Increasing to 3.5 million tonnes production in 2019
“We have an excellent management team in place at the mine that is eminently capable of managing the mining function, so we see this as a logical step to increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs as we increase production to 3.5 million tonnes in calendar year 2019.”