Australian Bauxite Limited has been granted its first mining lease at its Bald Hill Project in northern Tasmania after five years of exploration along Australia’s eastern seaboard. Bald Hill is 60km southwest of the city of Launceston.
The company’s CEO Ian Levy says Tasmania provides an ideal environment to host the company’s first mine - good quality bauxite, near infrastructure connected to export ports, and free of socio-environmental constraints.
“Bald Hill is our first mining lease. We have delineated two more in northern Tasmania and are actively investigating other prospective bauxite areas.
“Production at Bald Hill is planned to commence at the end of 2014. Discussions are well advanced with local mining and transport contractors, in line with our policy of creating economic opportunities that benefit the local community. Our expectation is at least 30 jobs will be created as a consequence.
“Contracts will be settled following the 28 days public display of the Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan,” Ian Levy says.
Spearheading the development of the Tasmanian projects is Australian Bauxite’s chief operating officer Leon Hawker. He says, “This is the first new bauxite mine in Australia for more than 35 years and will introduce a new bauxite supply into the seaborne bauxite market.
“We look forward to continuing and further developing the relationships that have been built in Tasmania. I particularly wish to acknowledge the work undertaken and the support of the Mineral Resources Tasmania, a division of the Department of State Growth and the EPA and recognize the strong community support we enjoy.
“ABx can only operate with a strong social licence and however modest our contribution to local jobs, industry and the economy may be, we will make every effort to meet the expectations of our diverse stakeholders.”
Australian Bauxite holds the core of the newly discovered Eastern Australian Bauxite Province. Its 37 bauxite tenements in Queensland, NSW and Tasmania covering 8500sqkm were rigorously selected on three principles: good quality bauxite; proximity to infrastructure connected to export ports; and, free of socio-environmental or native title land constraints.
All tenements are 100%-owned and free of obligations for processing and third-party royalties. ABx has already discovered many bauxite deposits and new discoveries are still being made as knowledge and expertise grows.
The company’s bauxite is high quality and can be processed into alumina at low temperature – the type that is in short-supply globally. Global resources declared to date are 68 million tonnes.