Rio Tinto’s $US1.9 billion ($2.4 billion) Amrun bauxite project is being built with foundations to support a much bigger expansion in the future, with the project now more than 75 per cent complete.
Approved by the Rio board in November 2015, the Amrun team will soon award some of the major contracts associated with the project, including for shiploaders, reclaimers and stackers. Amrun will produce 22.8 million tonnes of bauxite per year starting in mid 2019, with 10 million tonnes of that set to replace a nearby mine that is close to retirement.
Rio’s growth and innovation executive Stephen McIntosh said the size of the resource at Amrun could support a more than doubling of production in the future if Rio ever chose to pursue further expansion.
“We have built some capability for future expansions into the foundations of the project itself and so have a view that the resource itself could sustain options for 50 million tonnes per annum and we are [currently] building for 22.8 million tonnes per annum,” he said.
“But we don’t have any plans to do that at this time. We see the opportunity there and should the market present itself and obviously subject to all the normal caveats of going through the investment committee and studies, we have that opportunity.
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