The Australian Aluminium Council (the Council) has welcomed VBX Limited as a new member. In 2020, the Council created a new membership category, enabling bauxite explorers and mine proponents to join the Council. VBX is the first member in this category.
VBX are the proponents of the Wuudagu Bauxite Project on Wunambal Gaambera country, in the far north of Western Australia.
Wuudagu is a proposed bauxite mine, beneficiation plant and transhipment operation. The project has the potential to employ up to 100 people during construction and up to 250 people during operations.
Subject to statutory approvals, the project could commence from 2022.
Executive Director of the Council, Marghanita Johnson, said the Council is excited by the potential the Wuudagu Project has to provide training, employment and economic opportunities for the local community and supports the development of economic infrastructure in the region.
“While Wuudagu is undergoing final feasibility studies and approvals, membership of the Council enables VBX to engage with other members of the Australian bauxite industry during these planning phases.”
“Australia is the world’s largest producer of bauxite, producing more than 100 million tonnes (Mt) in 2019. The industry has almost six decades of experience of operating in Australia. Australian bauxite deposits have high grades and are shallow and relatively easy to mine. The nature of bauxite mining also means it is well suited to progressive rehabilitation.”
“In 2018 the Council, together with the International Aluminium Institute and the Brazilian Aluminium Association, co-authored the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines, which aim to share the expertise learned from decades of sustainable mining practices in Australia with the global industry,” Ms Johnson said.
VBX is proposing to develop and operate Wuudagu responsibly and in accordance with these guidelines.
“We know that long term demand for aluminium is strong and that increasing quantities of aluminium will be used globally as living standards improve, transport systems become more efficient and innovative lightweight construction systems are favoured,” Ms Johnson said.
“As a strong and lightweight material that can be infinitely recycled, aluminium plays an important role in a low carbon future.”
Approximately 60 per cent of Australia’s bauxite production is converted to alumina domestically, making Australia the largest exporter of alumina.
“With wealth of mineral and energy resources, Australia should be well placed to capitalise on these competitive advantages,” Ms Johnson commented.