Metro Mining eyes 2024 production of up to 6.8 million tonnes

Metro Mining (ASX:MMI) has set a 2024 bauxite production target of between 6.3 million and 6.8 million wet metric tonnes, as the wet season weakens and production resumes.

Metro, which has a $173.14 million market capitalisation, began remobilising production, services, and contractor teams back to site this week ahead of a mining restart, which took place yesterday (25 March 2024), while ship loading is scheduled to resume today (26 March). 

Production is expected to ramp up gradually over the coming days, with full operations expected by the beginning of April.

The production forecast comes at a time when the bauxite market remains ‘robust’, with negotiations for contracts with open pricing in Q2 following market trends and up by about 20% compared to Q4 2023. 

On 14 March 2024, Managing Director and CEO Simon Wensley told Mining.com.au on the sidelines of the Brisbane Mining and Investors Conference that the company is fixed on potential offtake partners in India and the Middle East from 2025 onwards. 

Wensley also said the company is looking to trial new 220,000-tonne vessels as part of its offshore floating terminal (OFT), which is one of the most ‘significant’ elements of its expansion plan to reach the 7-million-tonne capacity in 2024. 

Metro is also aiming this month to commission both the wobbler circuit and its new ‘Ikamba’ OFT. 

Notably, 2 new 90m barges have also arrived to take the full complement to 6. The initial operation will utilise the single floating crane, TSA Skardon, for ship loading. Additional trucks, trailers, loaders and tugs are expected to arrive in Q2 for a proposed further increase in production in Q3.

“There is a very positive energy from the Metro team in a year where we intend to fulfil the potential of an expanded Bauxite Hills Mine,” Wensley adds.

“We have had an excellent retention in staff and it’s exciting to be embarking on the final stages of our 7 million tonnes per annum expansion through Q2 this year.”

Bauxite is the primary ore used to make aluminium, a critical and strong growth metal in the energy transition. 

Metro Mining is an independent bauxite producer and explorer, with its 100% owned Bauxite Hills Mine operating on the Weipa bauxite plateau approximately 95km north of Weipa, near the coast on the Skardon River.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Metro Mining
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.