Bauxite from Gove gives Rio plant more options
BAUXITE from Gove will be added to the mix at Rio Tinto Alcan's Yarwun site.
Acting general manager Greg Bacon said the majority of bauxite, the raw material that makes alumina, will still come from their Weipa site, but one million of the seven million tonnes would come from Gove.
This year the company has also started exporting a raw material called alumina hydrate, which is used in fertilisers, paints, inks and glass manufacturing.
Mr Bacon said this would make it easier and more cost effective for the plant to manage its maintenance.
Alumina hydrate is made before the end of the alumina refining, which means the whole process doesn't have to stop if maintenance is needed in the later stages.
He said up to 300,000 tonnes of hydrate would be exported this year, compared to the three million tonnes of alumina.
"It's a good opportunity for us," he said.
"We can reduce our energy consumption on site so we aren't having to fire that up in the calcines and it goes straight out to the customer in the hydrated form."