Successful 2018 activities ceased in December for the wet season with 2.04 million wet metric tonnes (wmt) of bauxite having been loaded onto 33 vessels and sold to five separate customers in China during the year.
The focus during the downtime was on expanding production to 3.5 million tonnes this year with new personnel recruited for the transition to owner/operator mining and for the expanded operations.
Metro Mining director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis said: “We are very pleased with what has been achieved on site and welcome our new and returning personnel to Bauxite Hills.
“Now we have laid the groundwork I am very confident the team will meet this calendar year’s revised production target of 3.5 million wmt and build on last year’s successes.
“After the break for the wet season, we are very much looking forward to getting back into operation.”
To prepare for increased production the port area was increased in size and the layout changed to improve traffic flow with stockpile management systems modified to improve quality control systems.
The civils for the new screening systems quickly followed and the two screens are now fully installed and operational.
Mining and haulage operations also began in late March/early April, focusing on building stocks in preparation for the first ship, which arrived late last week.
Screening, stockpiling and barge loading at the port is underway.
A second ship has been booked to arrive later this week with both shipments to be delivered to Metro foundation customer Xinfa.