Alcoa interest sparks smelter talk



THE Aurukun bauxite deposits could result in not only an alumina refinery but also a new aluminium smelter for Gladstone.

Gladstone was identified as one of five locations where the controversial Aurukun deposits could be developed.

Now one of the bidding companies has said that they may also look at constructing an aluminium smelter.

Global aluminium giant Alcoa said if they were announced as the successful bidder they would also construct an aluminium smelter if there was an appropriately priced and available source of power.

With a readily accessible power supply and ever growing port facilities, Gladstone could accommodate such projects.

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board (GEIDB) chief executive Ken King said they were pushing for Gladstone to be the site for such projects.

'We have provided all 10 of the bidding companies with details of investing in Gladstone,' Dr King said.

Dr King said that with a state development area, some of the best port facilities in Australia and a readily available supply of power, Gladstone was an attractive area for the bidders to look at.

An Alcoa spokesperson said it was too early for them to have considered where they would construct any proposed plant if they were the successful bidder.

Other Queensland sites identified as potential sites for the alumina refinery included Townsville, the Aurukun mining site in Cape York, Abbot Point and Dudgeon Point.



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