Below are more details about the current operations at our Pinjarra Alumina Refinery and Huntly Bauxite Mine and the new approvals we are seeking.
Pinjarra Alumina Refinery
Pinjarra refinery currently produces about 4.7 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of alumina and already has approval to produce up to 5 Mtpa. Production is expected to reach 5 Mtpa in coming years thanks to ongoing operational improvements and efficiency upgrades.
While Alcoa has no plans for any major upgrades at the refinery, approval to produce up to 5.25 Mtpa would enable continued efficiency improvements over time.
Find out more about Pinjarra Alumina Refinery here.
Huntly Bauxite Mine
Operations started at the Huntly Bauxite Mine in 1976. Since then, about 77% of all mined areas have been rehabilitated.
Huntly currently mines about 26 Mtpa of bauxite. More than 90% of that bauxite is supplied to the Pinjarra and Kwinana refineries for processing into alumina. The small remainder is exported.
Bauxite forms in shallow pods, which means a constantly moving mining footprint followed by progressive, world-leading rehabilitation. Extensive studies and surveys are undertaken prior to mining to ensure important environmental, cultural and social values are identified and, where appropriate, protected.
Huntly’s proposed next mining areas are known as Myara North and Holyoake respectively (see map).
Together, Myara North and Holyoake would supply enough bauxite to enable the Pinjarra and Kwinana refineries to continue to operate for about ten years, along with a small amount for ongoing export.
Under current plans, Myara North is likely to be operational from 2025-2030 and Holyoake from 2030-2035. This is the extent of mining planned at Huntly until around 2035.
Find out more about Huntly Bauxite Mine here.
Alcoa has approval to export up to 2.5 Mtpa of bauxite until December 2021. This represents about 7% of the total bauxite we mine in WA each year across our Huntly and Willowdale mines. The remainder is processed at our three refineries.
Bauxite export represents an important alternate revenue stream for the overall viability of our business.
We are seeking an extension to the current approval to export up to 2.5 Mtpa. There are no plans to increase the rate of export.
Pinjarra Alumina Refinery:
- Current approval: 5 Mtpa alumina
- Proposed: 5.25 Mtpa alumina
Huntly Bauxite Mine:
- Proposed mine areas to supply Pinjarra and Kwinana refineries for 10 years
- Myara North ~2025-2030
- Holyoake ~2030-2035
- 2.5 Mtpa approved until end-2021
- Proposal to maintain export at 2.5Mtpa beyond that deadline
- Exports represent ~7% of annual bauxite mined