About the project

Glencore is assessing the feasibility of developing a new open cut bauxite mine in western Cape York, Queensland, 23 kilometres north-east of Aurukun and approximately 160 kilometres south of Weipa. The project is located on the land of the Wik Waya People.

The project is being undertaken as an unincorporated joint venture with MDP Bauxite Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd.

Proposed operation

The project could produce up to eight million dry tonnes per annum of washed bauxite over a life of more than 20 years.

The bauxite would be mined by conventional open cut mining methods using front end loaders and haul trucks.

Bauxite ore would be screened and washed in an on-site beneficiation plant. The washed bauxite would be transported by road train to a coastal loading facility approximately 20 kilometres from the plant, and then shipped to overseas markets.

If the project proceeds, the mine is expected to employ up to 300 people during the two-year construction phase, with an average operational workforce of around 400 people based on current project planning.

Flora and fauna ecology mapping surveys to investigate the mine area and route to port.

Project approvals

The project requires government and regulatory approvals in addition to an agreement with the Traditional Owners before an investment decision can be considered.

Key approval requirements are expected to include:

  • agreement with Traditional Owners
  • mining lease and appropriate land tenure for mine and infrastructure requirements
  • environmental approvals from both State and Commonwealth governments including preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  • a Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plan (PRCP)
  • water approvals to provide security of supply for bauxite processing
  • a port declaration as part of maritime operations.

We are working with Traditional Owners, local agencies, the Queensland and Federal governments and key stakeholders to progress these approval requirements.

Importantly, the long-term viability of any mining operation depends on customer support. Through our global marketing business, we are engaging with our potential customers to ensure the sustainability of any development.

Learn how we are working with directly affected Traditional Owners and representatives of the broader Native Title holder group in a process of seeking agreement.

What is bauxite?

Australia is one of the world’s largest producers of bauxite, the raw material used to produce aluminium. Cape York is a world-renowned region for bauxite production with more than 35 million tonnes produced in Queensland in 2022.

Aluminium plays an important role in modern life and is used in the production of goods as diverse as solar panels, electric vehicles and drink cans.

It is a metal that can be recycled endlessly with approximately two thirds of all the aluminium ever produced still in use today.

Learn more about the bauxite and the aluminium production process.

Project history

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About Aurukun

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