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The Worsley open cut bauxite mine is located near the Western Australian town of Boddington, 130 kilometres south east of Perth. It is one of the world's lowest cost and largest bauxite mining and refining operations which is jointly owned by South32 with an 86 percent holding, Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd 10 percent and Sojitz Alumina Pty Ltd with a four percent interest. The mine has been operated by Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd since 1984.

The mining of bauxite at the Worsley mine is undertaken on agricultural and forestry land by means of an ongoing process that involves excavation as well as rehabilitation. The end result leaves the mined out areas re-established back into the natural forest ecosystem.

Worsley Bauxite is Transported From Mine to Refinery Along a 50 Kilometre Conveyor System

After the bauxite is mined, it is crushed onsite, before being transported on one of the world's longest overland conveyor systems for 50 kilometres, to the company's alumina refinery, which is situated 15 kilometres from the town of Collie. The Collie refinery extracts alumina with the use of a century old process that was first developed by Josef Bayer, an Austrian chemist. The Bayer refining process, that turns the red bauxite rock into white alumina powder, is carried out over four stages, known as the; digestion stage, the clarification stage, the precipitation stage and finally the calcination stage. The alumina powder is then transported a further 55 kilometres by rail, to the port at Bunbury from where it is exported to smelters around the world, particularly smelters in Canada, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

The Worsley project began in the 1960's to initially mine and market bauxite derived from land on the eastern side of the Darling Range at Boddington. The Collie refinery site was chosen in 1978 because it was close to the Collie coalfields, the availability of fresh water, its proximity to the Bunbury port facilities and its reasonable proximity to the Boddington mine site.

Worsley Project was Australia's Largest in 1980

The Western Australian government approved the project in 1980, which at that time was the most expensive capital project to be constructed in Australia with a cost of $1.2 billion and a construction workforce of 3,500 people.

The first load of bauxite from the Boddington mine was transported along the overland conveyor to the Collie refinery on October 6, 1983, a further 50,000 tonnes was transported along the conveyor by the end of the same month. In April,1984, the refinery at Collie produced its first alumina. Initial production was one million tonnes annually with this amount steadily growing through expansion and new technology being introduced, along with improved efficiency, until a capacity of 4.6 million tonnes a year was reached in 2014.

Worsley Produced Over 71 Million Tonnes of Alumina in First 30 Years

The Worsley bauxite project produced more than 71 million tonnes of alumina during its first 30 years of operation. In aluminium terms this equates to over 2.35 trillion soft drink cans. The Worsley refinery at Collie is now recognised as being the second largest alumina refinery in the Southern Hemisphere. The operation currently employs over 1,800 permanent employees making it one of the largest employers in the Peel and South West regions of Western Australia.

South 32

Resource company South32 was created on 25th May 2015 as a result of a demerger from BHP Billiton. It is a worldwide diversified mining and metals company with an extensive portfolio that includes cash generative assets such as zinc, lead, silver, nickel, manganese, metallurgical and energy coal, more


South 32
108 St Georges Terrace
Perth, WA 6000


Phone08 9324 9000
fax089324 9200

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