- Australia is the world’s number one bauxite producing nation, according to the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
- Bauxite is refined to recover alumina and smelted to make aluminium. 2-3 tonnes of bauxite produce one tonne of alumina
- ABX has discovered significant bauxite deposits, affirmed by large mineral resources in northern NSW, southern NSW, Binjour in central QLD & Tasmania
- ABX long-term strategy is to maximise value from its bauxite and its technology by developing a higher value set of products to be a profitable business operating through every stage of the business cycles during the forthcoming restructuring of global industry
Australian Bauxite Limited (ASX:ABX) holds the core of the Eastern Australian Bauxite Province and has its first bauxite mine in Tasmania. 14 bauxite tenements totalling 750 km2 are 100 % owned, unencumbered and free of third-party royalties and are spread across Queensland, NSW, and Tasmania. The Company has created significant bauxite developments in the three states, and its bauxite deposits are constructively situated with direct shipping access to both local as well as export customers.
Recently, the Company notified that mining and screening operations remain in full swing at its Bald Hill mine, located near Campbell Town, northern Tasmania. Moreover, adhering to customer specifications, trucking to port too has started to assemble the next cargo of cement-grade bauxite.
The update has been fetching ample market and investor attention to the Company’s stock, which ended the day’s trade at a high of 9.524 % and quoted $ 0.115 on 17 June 2020. In the past one-month, ABX has delivered returns of 22.09 %.
Australian Bauxite Secures Sales Contracts Amid COVID-19
Besides mine production up and running at the Bald Hill Bauxite Project, ABX also reported about its stance as the world faces the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which threatened its business as the Company’s bauxite customers confronted obstacles.
On a good note, however, ABX has been successful in securing sales contracts for fertiliser-grade bauxite and cement-grade bauxite that totalled over $2.5 million, in the period of April-May 2020- when the pandemic repercussions prevailed dominantly. This showcases the resilient and effective way in which ABX remained focussed during the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Mine, Transport, Handling, and Port Contracts Follow Suit
The Company has well established relationships with experienced contractors that are renowned to meet strict specification targets and comply with community and landholder requirements.
- At the Bald Hill mine site, Hazell Bros contractors was granted the contract for mining, processing, and blending.
- For transporting product to the Bell Bay port, Dave Wagner & Son Pty Ltd was contracted.
- Besides these, ABX recently finalised port agreements with TasPorts
- In conjunction with TasPorts, ABX further inked a contract with QUBE Ports at Bell Bay for the stevedoring services and stockpiling arrangements.
- Monson Shipping has provided Shipping Agents services
- Briar Maritime has offered independent ship surveys to date
Fertiliser Grade Bauxite Sales Soar
There has been a recovery of the rural sector after drought and bushfires.
Throughout the year, sales of fertiliser grade bauxite have continued. ABX reported that these should further grow steadily, owing to a rise in agricultural demand for granulated superphosphate fertiliser. The Company even anticipates a just-in-time sale before Easter to be repeated in June.
The Company’s clean fertiliser-grade bauxite is chemically processed to generate an activated granule that well adsorbs fertiliser chemicals and remains to be strong and dust-free at Impact Fertilisers. Along with Impact Fertilisers, ABX has strived to develop this product which bears potential for other high-value markets
Over the coming weeks, customer’s trucks will load and transport the fertiliser-grade bauxite product.
Operating where welcomed, ABX is known to endorse best practices on agricultural land and strives to leave land and environment in a better stance than how it was found. With the focus on niche markets, growing from the base- long-term relationships with reliable and major customers, a sturdy long term strategy to be a profitable business, operating through all stages of the business cycles and Bald Hill mine advancing well- the Company seems to be in a good position (especially during these unprecedented times) for which it has developed contingency plans to support business as well as employees.