Jobs gone as Cape York mine shuts early

MORE than 200 mine workers will be out of a job in the coming days as a Cape York site brings forward its annual closure by about two months.

Metro Mining's flagship project, Bauxite Hills Mine, will be placed in an extended wet season closure due to the impacts of COVID-19 across the aluminium supply chain.

Mining at the site, located about 95km north of Weipa, is winding down and shipping is expected to cease on or around September 15.

The company announced that a number of Metro and its contractors' personnel would be made redundant as a result of the early closure, with only a small crew remaining on site for general maintenance purposes.

Surface stripping bauxite ore into trucks at the Bauxite Hills mine, about 95km north of Weipa. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
Surface stripping bauxite ore into trucks at the Bauxite Hills mine, about 95km north of Weipa. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

 

Operations are expected to recommence in April next year, with 2.3 million wet metric tonnes of planned production already contracted with Xinfa.

Metro Mining Managing Director and chief executive officer, Simon Finnis said the decision to shutdown the facility ahead of schedule "has not been taken lightly" and the company would " do all we can to assist our people and all stakeholders".

"Despite a period of uncertainty the site continues to perform safely and extremely well," he said.

"We continue to see improvements in the market and are regularly fielding new inquiries. We continue to make good progress in our negotiations for further bauxite sales."

Metro Mining managing director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis at the Bauxite Hills mine. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
Metro Mining managing director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis at the Bauxite Hills mine. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

Bauxite Hills Mine's August production results show that shipping rates exceeded ­budget, returning to the levels recorded prior to July.

Metro Mining may have the opportunity to recommence operations later this year "at short notice" if additional bauxite sales are contracted.

Metro Mining has also implemented a cost cutting program, which includes a reduction in directors' fees and senior management salaries that will reduce the company corporate and administration costs by about 39 per cent.

Originally published as Jobs gone as Cape York mine shuts early


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