MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Chalco Signs Land-use Deal For Aurukun Project

Published by MAC on 2005-05-28
Source: Interfax China Metals

Chalco signs land-use deal for Aurukun project

Chinese mining giant, the Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco), reached a land-use agreement Friday that paves the way for a feasibility study at the Aurukun bauxite mine project in Queensland, Australia, according to a statement from the Queensland government. The land use agreement, signed by Chalco, Australia's indigenous Wik and Wik Way peoples, and the Aurukun Shire Council, enables Chalco to commence a feasibility study and begin comprehensive planning for the Aurukun bauxite project. It also ensures that the project will adhere to the best environmental practices at present and preserve the region's cultural heritage, Deputy Premier, Anna Bligh, said.

The deal also includes a plan for the sustainable development of the Aurukun region, in which Chalco has agreed to commit more than AUD $2 million ($1.64 million) a year to work with the community to ensure their ongoing involvement in the project. Chalco signed the final agreement to develop the bauxite mine with the Queensland government on March 23. The project will cost AUD $3 billion ($2.46 billion) and is designed to extract 7.5 million tons of bauxite and refine 2.1 million tons of alumina each year.

The mine is located in the remote Cape York area of Queensland and contains bauxite reserves estimated to range between 500 and 650 million tons.

Chalco joined the bidding campaign for the Aurukun project in September 2005 and edged out competitors BHP Billiton, Xstrata, Comalco Aluminium, and Alcoa and Alcan, winning the mining rights in March last year.

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