About the project
The Aurukun bauxite resource is located on land that is traditionally owned by the Wik and Wik Way People – one of the most prominent Indigenous communities in Australia. The resource is located south of Weipa and to the east of Aurukun, within a designated "restricted area" that comprises 11 deposits over an area spanning 75 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide.
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Our project proposal
Following an open and competitive process run by the previous Queensland government, we entered into a Development Agreement with the State in late 2014.
This allows us to apply for a Mineral Development Licence (MDL). An MDL is required for us to undertake feasibility studies and impact assessments in connection with the potential development of this resource.
We are proposing to assess the feasibility of an initial small-scale bauxite mine producing up to six million dry product tonnes per year over a 20 year mine life. Our project concept involves a potential mining operation to extract, wash and screen bauxite, which would be trucked and then barged to an off-shore transhipment point for export.
More information about our proposal and the history of the project can be found in our submissions to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics, which are available bellow.
We plan to assess the viability of developing the Aurukun Bauxite resource.
Following Glencore's selection as the preferred proponent in 2014, we sought to progress our assessment of the resource by applying for a Mineral Development Licence in January 2015.
Since that time, the grant of the licence was delayed by a series of legal challenges undertaken by third parties. These include a challenge by one of the unsuccessful bidders, Aurukun Bauxite Development Pty Ltd (which was dismissed by the Queensland Supreme Court in December 2016) and an objection submitted by the Cape York Land Council, which was dismissed by the National Native Title Tribunal in June 2016 (with a subsequent appeal dismissed by the Federal Court in March 2017).
With the legal challenges now dismissed, we have commenced planning activities, in consultation with the traditional owners, for the environmental surveys and technical studies that will form part of the resource's feasibility assessment.
We are also working with the State Government to finalise the requirements for grant of the licence.
Our project pathway is based on a foundation of strong and early direct community engagement. Since our first visit to Aurukun in 2013, we have been committed to openly and transparently discussing the potential impacts and benefits of the project with the community.
Over the past 18 months we have visited Aurukun on more than a dozen occasions and spent time talking with members of the Aurukun community, including a large number of Traditional Owners.
Our approach will continue to prioritise those families and clans who can speak for the country within our potential project area before engaging with the broader native title group outside the proposed development area and members of the Aurukun community.
We have been very pleased with the welcome and support that we have received during our regular visits where community members, including directors of NAK, have expressed their desire to be involved in the Project and understand more about what it might mean for their community.
Glencore recognises that the direct involvement of traditional owners and community members is vital to the future success of the project.