Major milestone for $3b Chalco investment
A $3 billion bauxite project on Cape York Peninsula, regarded as the largest single foreign investment in Queensland's history, has reached a major milestone, according to Queensland Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure, Anna Bligh, and Queensland Mines and Energy Minister, Geoff Wilson.The Deputy Premier said a mineral development licence was granted to Chalco, the Aluminium Corporation of China Limited, over a 40,000 hectare site on the west of the Cape, and gave the company the green light to go ahead with a $40m feasibility study."This is a major milestone for one of our most exciting projects, which is expected to create thousands of skilled jobs during construction."The project includes a mine and a plant at Aurukun and a mineral processing facility on Queensland's east coast," Ms Bligh said.The study will be conducted over the next two years and includes a $2m a year commitment by Chalco to the traditional owners of the Aurukun community.Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said the feasibility study included mining-related investigations, geotechnical and engineering studies, and other evaluations."The study will also determine the preferred location for a $2.2 billion alumina refinery at Gladstone, Bowen or Townsville," Mr Wilson said.Mr Wilson said Chalco's decision to proceed with development of the bauxite mine and alumina refinery would be based on the results of the feasibility study."Before any mining can occur, Chalco has to be granted a mining lease over the bauxite deposits. This also requires consent from the Wik and Wik Way people and the Aurukun Shire Council," he said.The Chalco Bauxite Project mine and plant at Aurukun could produce over six million tonnes a year of bauxite, and the alumina refinery could produce more than two million tonnes of alumina a year.