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Glencore selects Joint Venture partner for Aurukun Bauxite Project

Media release
Brisbane, Australia
18 March 2021


Glencore has entered into an agreement for Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi) to become a Joint Venture partner in its Aurukun Bauxite Project in western Cape York, Queensland.

Under the terms of the proposed unincorporated JV, Mitsubishi would acquire a 30% stake in the project and Glencore would retain 70% ownership and full management.

Glencore is assessing the feasibility of developing the project into a new open cut bauxite mine 23km north-east of the Aurukun township, with an expected mine life of more than 20-years and annual production of up to eight million dry tonnes of washed bauxite per year.

The mine would require a workforce of up to 250 people over a two-year construction phase and create around 400 jobs when it enters production.

Bauxite is a key ingredient in aluminium, a recyclable and widely used metal in the transport, construction and packaging industries.

Glencore’s Project Director Julian Farrugia said the JV partnership with Mitsubishi is a sign of market confidence in the project.

“Since our first involvement with the project, we have been engaging with a range of potential customers and interested parties to support the development of the Aurukun bauxite resource, as we’ve done for multiple resource projects in Australia over the past 20 years,” he said.

“We were approached by a number of parties interested to participate in the project, and are pleased to have selected Mitsubishi, with whom Glencore has previous experience in joint ventures, to jointly progress this opportunity.”

Taking a break during onsite heritage surveys.
Community consultation in Aurukun.

Glencore is finalising an Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which will be available for public consultation in mid-2021, as part of the State and Federal Government environmental approvals process.

“Importantly, 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 benefits and impacts of the project with the community,” Mr Farrugia said.

“The involvement of Traditional Owners and the community is vital to the project’s future success.  Our vision is to achieve tangible, long-term benefits for the local community and Traditional Owners that align with their aspirations for their community and their country. This includes local employment and new business opportunities, as well as improved access to, and use of, traditional country.”

The JV agreement with Mitsubishi is subject to Australian and international regulatory approvals. This includes approval from the Queensland Government under the terms of Glencore’s Development Agreement with the State.

As part of the agreement, Glencore and Mitsubishi propose to split the offtake of bauxite production from any development in accordance with their ownership interest.

Glencore has a strong track record of investing in the Australian resources sector over the past 20 years and is one of Australia’s largest producers of the metals and minerals required for the transition to a low carbon economy.


For further information, please contact:


Francis De Rosa
m: +61 417 074 751
e: Francis De Rosa

Agata Graham
m: +61 478 304 345
e: Agata Graham


Notes for editors

About Glencore

Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 responsibly-sourced commodities that advance everyday life. The Group's operations comprise around 150 mining and metallurgical sites and oil production assets.

With a strong footprint in over 35 countries in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, Glencore's industrial activities are supported by a global network of more than 30 marketing offices.

Glencore's customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, battery manufacturing and oil sectors. We also provide financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities. Glencore's companies employ around 145,000 people, including contractors.

Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. We are an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.  Our ambition is to be a net zero emissions company by 2050. For more information, visit Glencore's website.

About Glencore Australia

Glencore produces coal, copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc from 25 mines across Australia. We also operate metals processing assets in Queensland, including a copper smelter, lead smelter and copper refinery.

We employ 18,720 people in Australia and in 2019 contributed $14.8 billion to the regional, state and national economies. The most significant contribution came from our core business activities: employing people, sourcing from local communities and paying taxes to host governments.

About the Aurukun Bauxite Project

Glencore is assessing the feasibility of developing a new bauxite mine near Aurukun on the west coast of Cape York in Far North Queensland.

The Aurukun Bauxite Project is located approximately 23 kilometres to the north-east of Aurukun and 35 kilometres south of Weipa on the traditional lands of the Wik Waya people. Ngan Aak-Kunch (NAK), on behalf of the Wik Waya people, hold the Native Title rights and Aboriginal freehold rights over the project area.

The Project life is expected to be over 20 years, producing up to eight million dry tonnes of washed bauxite per year. If successful, we anticipate the mine will require up to 250 people during the two-year construction phase (earliest commencement in 2022) and create around 400 jobs when it enters production. Find out more about the Aurukun Bauxite Project.