Rio approves $2.6bn Amrun bauxite project in Queensland

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Image credit: Rio Tinto website

Rio Tinto has announced that it will invest $2.6 billion to develop one of the world’s largest deposits in Cape York in Queensland.

Image credit: Rio Tinto website
Image credit: Rio Tinto website

The Amrun project, also known as the South of Embley project, will include the development of a bauxite mine and port and is expected to generate 1,400 permanent and 1,100 construction jobs.

“Amrun is one of the highest quality bauxite projects in the world. It is a tier one asset that will deliver significant benefits to all our stakeholders. In addition to generating attractive returns, with mining costs in the first quartile of the industry cost curve, it will provide jobs and strengthen the economy for the people of Cape York and Queensland for many decades,” said Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh.

“This long-life, low-cost, expandable asset offers a wide variety of development options and pathways over the coming decades. We are establishing Cape York bauxite as the product of choice for the Chinese seaborne market with consistent quality, security of supply and strong technical marketing support. Amrun will be significant in helping to meet growing bauxite demand from China.”

Once fully operational, the mine will initially produce 22.8 million tonnes a year, with options for future expansion to 50 million tonnes.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the announcement of the $2.6 billion bauxite development.

“This announcement is an enormous boost to Queensland’s economy and will provide jobs for up to 40 years. Once operational, the Amrun mine will support the continued employment of the current 1400 strong workforce based in Weipa, as well as more than 2000 employees based at the Yarwun and Queensland Aluminium Limited refineries in Gladstone that are fed with bauxite from Cape York,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This is more good news for northern Queensland, on top of the recent North East Gas Interconnector gas pipeline to Mount Isa. Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General has been working closely with Rio Tinto to achieve the project’s green light,” added Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.