The Aldoga Aluminium Smelter site gates were locked yesterday as the plant was put on hold until 2006.
The Aldoga Aluminium Smelter site gates were locked yesterday as the plant was put on hold until 2006.

Aldoga construction work put on hold



CONSTRUCTION work at the Aldoga Aluminium Smelter site is on hold for the next six months, according to management.

Managing director John Benson has told The Observer that no further construction work would take place on the Yarwun site until the investors completed feasibility studies on its exploration program in the Kimberleys in Western Australia and another site in Queensland's Cape York.

'Work on the site itself is contained in a controlled hold situation,' Mr Benson said.

The Leightons-Goldings joint venture construction work has been completed, leaving the site vacant apart from security and monitoring to ensure the government's environmental compliance.

However, he said the project backers were working hard to secure enough bauxite resources in Australia to ensure a long-term supply for the aluminium business.

He said the Kimberley explora- tion program was well ad- vanced, while the Cape York program was also under way and advancing quickly.

Mr Benson, however, admit- ted the delay was not part of the long-term plan for the Yarwun project.

'It's hard to say if the delays will work constructively or de- structively,' he said.

He said the exchange rate may help in the future and the amount of infrastructure work taking place in Queensland at the moment may also work in their favour with the delay in needing workers.

Aldoga required about 150 million tonnes of good quality bauxite to guaran- tee a supply for future alumina and aluminium production, Mr Benson said.

He said early estimates showed the Kimberleys site contained about 80 million tonnes of raw material.

Aldoga's investors did not place a bid with the Queensland Government for the highly sought Aurukun bauxite deposit in the state's far north last month.



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