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Metro Mining hits new shipment record, ramps up expansion


Jul. 4, 2024 - Metro Mining Limited has announced a new shipment record for the second quarter of the calendar year, reaching 1.42 million WMT (wet metric tonnes). This represents a 12 per cent increase compared to Q2 2023. Year to date, the total shipments stand at 1.50 million WMT. Additionally, Q2 2024 has marked the successful commissioning phase of the company's new 7 million WMT per annum expansion project.

Metro Mining is an independent bauxite producer and explorer. Its 100 per cent-owned Bauxite Hills Mine operates on the Weipa bauxite plateau approximately 95 kilometres north of Weipa, near the coast on the Skardon River. Metro Mining produces high-alumina bauxite and ships it to customers in large ore carriers.

The final components of the expansion entered operation during the quarter. OFT Ikamba commenced operations on 28 April, undergoing six weeks of commissioning at 50 per cent capacity, followed by two weeks at 80 per cent capacity. This resulted in discharge peak rates of approximately 2300 tph and average barge rates of around 1700 tph.

Currently, three tow tugs and six 90-meter barges are in operation. As all value chain components ramp up and become more predictable, the goal is to load and dispatch five to six laden barges daily, contingent on tidal restrictions. Ikamba has been operating with TSA Skardon to load vessels, achieving a remarkable milestone—a record transhipment day in 2024 with 31,178 WMT. Metro’s large offshore assist tug, Mandang, is nearing the completion of its refit and is scheduled to be onsite in August.

The new wobbler screening circuit commenced operations on 15 May and achieved full 24/7 operations by June 6. While minor modifications to optimise production are underway, the circuit has already demonstrated a target barge loading rate of 1500 tph, with peaks at 1900 tph through the BLF, aided by the pre-existing vibrating screen.

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