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Rio’s Amrun gets moving

Construction work is underway for Rio Tinto Aluminium’s (RTA) new port to service the Amrun (formerly known as South of Embley) bauxite project on western Cape York, Queensland. The project comprises an opencut bauxite mine, processing plant, bauxite stockpiles, ancillary infrastructure and port development.

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Earlier this year, Belgian contractor Jan de Nul deployed the world’s most powerful cutter-suction dredge, J. F. J. DE NUL, and associated plant to undertake capital dredging at the new port, which is situated on Boyd Bay, around 40 km south of the existing RTA bauxite port of Weipa.


The Spliethoff Group is now delivering regular shipments of construction materials through Weipa. The DOLFIJNGRACHT delivered an inaugural load of coated steel piles, up to 40m long, for the Amrun jetty and shiploader structure. More recently, OSLO BULK 5 shipped in flexible concrete mattresses.

Spliethoff’s BigLift Shipping is contracted to deliver the modular components of the new export wharf. Next year, the heavy lift vessel HAPPY STAR will make three voyages to carry and place modules up to 10m high directly onto the seabed, followed by wharf deck modules measuring more than 50m and weighing close to 700t each.

The A$2.6B Amrun Project is intended to replace soon-to-be exhausted Cape York deposits, and has an initial projected output of 22.8 Mtpa, with possible expansion to 50 Mtpa and a 40-year life. The majority of the bauxite is destined for RTA’s Yarwun refinery in Gladstone, with the rest to be exported to China.


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