Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Firm's Port Deal on Horizon; Bauzite Mine to Bring 200-Plus Jobs to Region

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Firm's Port Deal on Horizon; Bauzite Mine to Bring 200-Plus Jobs to Region

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma Reid emma.reid@news-mail.com.au

AFTER almost a decade of planning the stars are finally aligning for Bundaberg's closest mine.

Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) has reached a deal with the Port of Bundaberg and international buyers.

The news will boost the long-term economy and create more than 200 jobs not only in Bundaberg but the Wide Bay region, with 55 initial positions set to multiply by four once fully operational.

In 2017, ABx CEO Ian Levy told the NewsMail the company was seeking a buyer of the raw material that makes aluminium, and the project was in the early evaluation stage.

Now a Memorandum of Understanding between ABx and Bundaberg Port is getting under way.

Bauxite is red iron stone, rich in alumina, which produces a red dust. It is the world's main source of aluminium.

The mine is north-west of Gayndah, 115km from the Bundaberg Port.

Mr Levy yesterday said the modest-scale project had experienced a few hiccups at the start but was ready to take off and the first shipment was likely next year.

"When we first started in 2012 we had to see if we could get the bauxite on a ship and it was no, no, no," he said.

"The project seemed impossible, then two years later it was extremely unlikely."

But everything started to fall into place, Mr Levy said.

The Binjour mine will have 55 employees initially and rising to more than 200 once in full swing. Mr Levy said the aim was to employ locals.

He said the Ring Road, a bypass around Bundaberg, made a significant difference to the industry.

"There are some remarkable things happening at the port," Mr Levy said.

"We found a solution to our issue by stockpiling away from everything else so the red dust doesn't make products like Knauf's gyprock pink."

Two years ago Mr Levy faced two more issues - securing a customer and transportation woes. …

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