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Bauxite Hills screened stocks ready to go onto barges. Image: Metro Mining

Metro Mining’s first ship for 2020 has arrived for loading at Skardon River in Queensland as part of Xinfa Group’s two million tonne purchase this year.

The ship, named Vialli, commenced loading on Tuesday morning (April 14). It boasts an enlarged fleet that allowed for daily records for haulage.

Land-based activities at the Bauxite Hills mine have also started, thanks to favourable weather conditions allowing mining to “get off to an excellent start”.

Metro mined 142,000 wet metric tonnes of bauxite, of which 106,000 wet metric tonnes have been screened.

The company achieved screening rates of 850 tonnes per hour, a significant increase on the average of 550 tonnes per hour achieved last year despite the inherent moisture in the bauxite post-wet season.

The return of the majority of Metro’s team members has aided in the efficient restart, according to the company.

“This has been an excellent start to the year in trying times amidst all the operational challenges we have had to implement to deal with the risk of COVID-19,” Metro Mining managing director and chief executive Simon Finnis said.

“To put the results into context, last year we only had 47,000 wet metric tonnes mined and hauled prior to the commencement of shiploading activities.

“Our workforce has had to make adjustments to their working lives, including some who have relocated to Cairns; I applaud and thank everyone for their efforts.”