Rio Tinto wraps up commissioning of Amrun bauxite mine in Queensland


Rio Tinto has wrapped up the commissioning process of its AUD 2.6 billion ($1.9 billion) worth Amrun bauxite mine on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia.

Amrun bauxite mine

Construction work on the Rio Tinto bauxite mine in Australia was initiated in 2016 and about two years later, the first bauxite was produced. The first shipment from the bauxite mine was dispatched in December 2018 to Rio Tinto’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone in Queensland.

The bauxite mine is located nearly 40km south of the East Weipa and Andoom mines owned by Rio Tinto.

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It was in 2015 that Rio Tinto sanctioned both the plant and export facility of the Amrun bauxite mine, located on the Wik-Waya traditional land. Bechtel, under a contract worth AUD $160 million ($113 million) took care of the engineering, procurement, construction and management of the Amrun bauxite project.

Production from the bauxite mine in Queensland has been catering to its demand from China.

Rio Tinto plans Amrun and its related processing and port facilities to replace production from the depleting East Weipa mine and for increasing the company’s annual bauxite export capacity by about 10 million tons.

Rio Tinto wraps up commissioning of Amrun bauxite mine in Queensland

Rio Tinto wraps up commissioning of Amrun bauxite mine in Queensland. Photo courtesy of Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “Amrun was completed early and under budget, demonstrating Rio Tinto’s productivity and innovation capabilities. By applying fresh thinking we also delivered safety, environmental, cost and timing benefits.

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“Amrun will provide jobs, support businesses and contribute to growth in the region for the next 50 years, building on $A2.2 billion of contracts with local, State and national businesses [during construction].”

As part of the Amrun bauxite project, Rio Tinto carried out the development of an open-cut mine, constructed a processing plant and bauxite stockpiles and installed a 20MW diesel-fueled power station. The mining giant also constructed warehouses, a barge/ferry terminal and also ship loading facilities.

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The Amrun bauxite mine, at full production, will produce 22.8 million tons of bauxite annually. Rio Tinto has plans to further expand the capacity to up to 50Mtpa in the course of the mine’s expected life of 40 years.

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