Mitsubishi Development acquires interest in Aurukun Bauxite Project

Mitsubishi Development has reached agreement with Glencore to acquire a 30% interest in the Aurukun Bauxite Project that, if approved, would require a workforce of up to 250 people over a two-year construction phase, and create around 400 jobs when the mine enters production.

When up and running, the project – located 23km to the north-east of the township Aurukun – will produce 8 million dry tonnes of bauxite over an expected mine life of more than 20 years.

The resource contains approximately 357 million tonnes, with mined tonnes extracted from shallow pits, using a conventional truck and loader operation. Screened and washed product will be hauled by road train to a coastal loading facility to be shipped to overseas customers.

Mitsubishi Development CEO, Sadahiko Haneji said the deal with Glencore was significant because if approved it would generate jobs, benefits and supplier revenue for a regional and remote community.

“For more than 50 years, we have been providing investment Australians can count on,” Mr Haneji said.

“We actively seek assets that have the potential to deliver strong social and economic benefits to communities, as well as broader environmental benefits as the world moves to a low-carbon/decarbonized society.

“The Aurukun Bauxite Project delivers on both of these objectives as we seek to capture growing demand for bauxite – the key ingredient in aluminium – a metal playing an important role in reducing carbon emissions given its lightweight properties making it less fuel intensive when used in transportation, as well as its ability to be endlessly recycled.”

The deal will allow the JV partners to complete a feasibility study and business case for the mine in preparation for an investment decision to be made.

Mitsubishi Development’s Head of Business Strategy and Planning, Kenji Azuma said the deal will still hinge on receiving mining leases which are subject to environmental and other regulatory approvals, including the development of agreements with Traditional Owners.

“Glencore has done a great job of moving this Project forward, and together, I believe we can unlock the huge potential of this deposit to provide jobs, education and training opportunities for the local community. As a Japanese company we have a deep respect for cultural heritage. We acknowledge the strong connection the Traditional Owners have with the land and will strive to earn their trust,” Mr Azuma said.

Upon completion of the feasibility study, the JV partners will aim to reach a final investment decision on the development of the mine during 2022.