Rio is reportedly developing its $2.4 billion Amrun bauxite project near Weipa with the potential to more than double in capacity, should market conditions warrant such an expansion.
Rio is said to be around 75% through construction of Amrun, which is set to open midway through next year. The miner will reportedly be awarding major contracts for shiploaders, reclaimers and stackers soon.
Speaking with the AFR late last month, Rio’s growth and innovation executive Stephen McIntosh reportedly said the Amrun project – approved in 2015 by Rio’s board – was being built with options for up to 50mtpa capacity, up from its initial construction capacity of 22.8mtpa.
“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 building for 22.8 million tonnes per annum,” McIntosh reportedly said.
“We don’t have any plans to do that at this time,” he added. “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.”