China’s Chalco Expecting Final Deal on Australian Bauxite Project by End March

China’s Chalco Expecting Final Deal on Australian Bauxite Project by End March

March 14, 2007 Filed Under: Bauxite Mining, Mining Services  

The Aluminum Corp. of China said Monday it expects to sign a final agreement on a US$2.2 billion bauxite mine and alumina refinery project in northeastern Australia’s Queensland by the end of March.

The company, the world’s second-biggest aluminum producer after U.S.-based Alcoa Inc., already had acquired “preferred developer” status for the Aurukun bauxite deposit.

Plans call for it to sign an agreement for a mining rights development license with the Queensland government later this month as well as a land use agreement with the Aborigines in the area, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company, best known as Chalco, on Monday reported a 67 percent jump in net profit in 2006, helped by rising metals prices.

Chalco’s shares traded in Hong Kong were down 2 percent to 7.83 Hong Kong dollars (US$1; euro0.76) by midday Monday.

Like other big Chinese metals and mining firms, Chalco has been expanding overseas to meet strong domestic demand. It is also in talks on exploring for bauxite in Guinea and is negotiating a joint venture deal with the Vietnam National Coal Corp.

Bauxite is a key material in aluminum used in aircraft, industrial construction and kitchen utensils.

Planners say the bauxite project is expected to create thousands of jobs in the Aurukun area, on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula.

Information from: AP via Yahoo News

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