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The Queensland Government has agreed to Metro Mining’s $47.5 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan facility for the Bauxite Hills mine in Queensland’s far north.

Metro Mining intends to use the loan facility to fund the construction and mobilisation of a floating terminal for stage two expansion of Bauxite Hills mine.

Once the expansion is complete, Bauxite Hills’ production will be upped to six million wet metric tonnes per annum and should be finished by 2021.

Metro Mining managing director and chief executive officer Simon Finnis said the state Government’s approval marked “one of the last key milestones” for the the expansion work.

“We were pleased to secure the loan offer from NAIF and delighted the Queensland state Government has supported our expansion plans which will greatly benefit our stakeholders in Northern Australia – the purpose of NAIF,” Finnis said.

The Bauxite Hills Mine employs up to 220 people with an indigenous workforce of approximately 40 per cent.

As part of its eligibility criteria, the NAIF loan mandates that the recipients have a significant benefit for northern Australia and to have an Indigenous Engagement Strategy in place.

Operations at the Bauxite Hills Mine have resumed for 2020 as the company also continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.