Bauxite exploration company, Australian Bauxite Limited (ASX: ABX) on 30 January 2019 confirmed that it had started the mining as well as the screening operations at its Bald Hill mine near Campbell Town, northern Tasmania. The mining and the screening operations were for the preparation of cargo of seaborne cement-grade bauxite to the specifications of the customer. Hazell Bros contractors were assigned the task for mining, processing as well as blending. Australian Bauxite Limited had also begun the contract discussions for moving the material to the Bell Bay port.
As at 9 April 2019, the company had produced 31.6k tonnes of cement-grade bauxite and had achieved the contracted tonnage target of 30k to 33k three weeks before the contract date (1 May 2019). Around 23,900 tonnes of the stockpile was delivered at Bell Bay through trucks.
On 8 May 2019 confirmed that it had produced as well as loaded 32,477 tonnes of bauxite onto the customer’s ship at Bell Bay Port which is in the upper range of the contracted tonnage target of 30,000 to 33,000 of cement-grade bauxite. Moreover, the company stated that the bauxite grade that was loaded on the customer’s ship was better than what was finalized in the contract.
Till late April 2019, the production of additional bauxite-products continued at its Bald Hill Bauxite Project. The company had received more orders for fertilizer-grade bauxite giving a clear indication that ABx bauxite has clean chemistry that is ideal for acid-processing to produce high-quality fertilizer increasingly in demand.
In February 2019, the import of metallurgical bauxite by China reached record levels of 8.9 million tonnes. The China’s demand is met mainly from Guinea situated in West Africa, (4.4 million tonnes), followed by Australia (2.8 million tonnes) and Indonesia (1.2 million tonnes).
The fall in the exchange rate is aiding Abx’s bauxite competitiveness of the company. In the mid of 2017, the prices of bauxite have firmed up in terms of US dollar terms from US$49/tonne in mid-2017 to US$54/tonne in recent months. In Australia, the prices of bauxite are increasing strongly. It was A$63/tonne in mid-2017 and has reached A$75/tonne in recent months due to fall in the Australia dollar exchange rate with the US dollar from US$0.90 in 2014 to around US$0.70 in recent months.
Australian Bauxite Limited have been able to achieve additional product stockpiles which include cement-grade bauxite, fertilizer-grade bauxite, as well as sizeable stockpiles of ALCORE refinery-grade bauxite. In Queensland, the period from April to November is the Dry Season, the Binjour project from April to November 2019 will be at maximum production. The bauxite mines of the company in Tasmania in Summer months from November to May achieves optimum production. In North-Western India, the marketing partner of ABx, Rawmin has its bauxite mines that are restricted in the period from during June to September as it is the monsoon season in India.
The shares of ABX closed the day at A$0.100 (As on 8 May 2019). ABX holds a market capitalization of 15.33 million and approximately 145.97 million outstanding shares.
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