CHALCO wins Aurukun projectPublished by MAC on 2006-03-02
CHALCO wins Aurukun project
2nd March 2006
THE world's second-largest alumina producer, Chinese company CHALCO, has pipped a big field to develop the Aurukun bauxite project in far north Queensland.
According to an AAP report, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie told parliament today the Chinese outfit had become the state's preferred tenderer for the deposit.
CHALCO has been asked to submit a final tender by the end of May. Beattie told parliament CHALCO'S investment is expected to be in the order of $A2.92 billion, with the government agreeing to kick in up to $300 million to help get the project off the ground.
Ten of the world's alumina producers comprising Alcan, Alcoa, BHP Billiton, Comalco, Brazil's CVRD, Hindalco, Hydro Aluminium, Mitsubishi Corporation, Russian Aluminium, and Xstrata were all reportedly interested in the 650 million tonne project.
Aurukun came on the market after the Queensland State Government passed special legislation in 2004 to cancel a lease covering the project held by Canadian company Alcan.
This followed calls in 2003 for the surrender of the mining lease, then held by Pechiney - which was acquired by Alcan - on the grounds that the leaseholder had failed to start construction for a refinery by 1988, as per the terms of the lease granted in the 1970s.
On acquiring Pechiney, Alcan offered to fast-track a $15 million feasibility study in
return for retaining the lease - to no avail.