Mitsubishi strikes deal with Glencore to buy stake in bauxite project

Aurukun bauxite project – Credit Glencore

Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp said on Thursday it has agreed to buy a 30% stake in the Aurukun bauxite project in Australia from mining giant Glencore Plc for an undisclosed sum.

The deal marks Mitsubishi’s first investment in the mining of bauxite, a raw material of aluminium. The project is an undeveloped bauxite mine in Queensland and Glencore is assessing the feasibility of developing it.

Mitsubishi aims to reach a final investment decision on mine development in 2022 and is working with Glencore to conclude the feasibility studies.

Glencore separately said the mine would require a workforce of up to 250 people during the two-year construction phase and would create about 400 jobs once production begins.

It said engagement with the traditional owners and local community was “vital” to the project and it would work towards aligning their goals with the project’s development.

Mining companies’ engagement with indigenous groups has come into sharp focus in Australia after Rio Tinto destroyed sacred rock shelters last year to expand a mine, which led to public and investor uproar and the exit of top executives.

(By Yuka Obayashi and Rashmi Ashok; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Arun Koyyur)


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