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The lease on which the Weipa bauxite mine on Cape York Peninsula operates is known as the Ely Alcan Queensland Pty Ltd Agreement. It expires in 2041 but has an option clause included to have it extended for a further 21 years if further mining is believed to be warranted when that time arrives. The Ely Bauxite Mining Project Agreement was signed between Camalco and local Aboriginal traditional land owners in 1967. Another agreement was reached in 1998 to allow further mining of the ore. This agreement is known as the Bauxite Mining and Exchange Agreement.

Bauxite Mining Began at the Ely Resource in 1964
Commercial quantities of bauxite was proven to exist at Weipa on Western Cape York Peninsula in 1955. In 1961 the first bauxite mine began extracting ore from the site and by 1964, 453,365 tonnes of bauxite had been mined and shipped out of the area. In 2009 the bauxite production figure had reached 16.3 million dry product tonnes. The Rio Tinto Alcan Weipa bauxite operation now operates under two land use agreements with the traditional owners of the land on which mining activities are taking place. The Ely Bauxite Mining Project Agreement (EBMPA) and the Western Cape Communities Coexistence Agreement (WCCCA). These agreements include arrangements for the provision of education, economic and employment benefits, including cultural heritage support, along with formal consulting processes between the traditional owners and Tio Tinto Alcan.

The Ely Bauxite Resource is Part of the Weipa Deposit
Rio Tinto acquired Alcan in 2007, an acquisition that included Ducie- Wenlock bauxite resource and the adjacent Weipa deposit that included the Ely resource. All these deposits have now been amalgamated into the one reporting entity as all the deposits are regarded as being contiguous. The bauxite mined from the Weipa operations is refined at the Queensland Alumina Refinery and Rio Tinto Alcan's own refinery Yarwin, at Gladstone, from where it is shipped to overseas customers.

Weipa is one of the Largest Bauxite Mines in the World
The Weipa bauxite mine is one of the largest bauxite mines in the world and the company is currently developing deposits south of the Embly Project that will eventually take the place of the depleting East Weipa reserves. This new development will extend the life of the mine for a further 40 years while at the same time lifting production levels to 35 million tonnes a year. Bauxite mining has been taking place at the Weipa mine for over 50 years and is expected to last for at least another 40 years.

Weipa Mine Developed by Comalco
Bauxite mining began at Weipa in 1957 when the Commonwealth Aluminium Corporation (Comalco) was formed to develop the bauxite deposit on a large scale. It was granted an 84 year lease with an option to extend it for a further 21 years under the Commonwealth Aluminium Corporation Pty Ltd Agreement Act 1957(Queensland). Rio Tinto took over management of the operation in 2006 when it acquired Comalco's only remaining minority shareholder. Since 2007 Rio Tinto Alcan have owned the mine with 100 percent of the shareholding, a result of the merging of Alcan and Rio Tinto Aluminium.

Rio Tinto Alcan Australia

Rio Tinto Aluminium started business with Comalco in the mid 1950's. We brought Comalco in 2000 and the company was re-named Rio Tinto Aluminium in 2006. Alcan INC started in 1902 as a Northern Aluminum company, in the Canadian subsidiary of Pittsburgh Reduction company. They re-named the company...........read more


Rio Tinto Alcan Australia
123 Albert St
Brisbane, QLD 4000

GPO Box 153
Brisbane, QLD 4001



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