Glencore, Rio, Chalco Shortlisted for Australia Bauxite Project

Glencore International Plc, Rio Tinto Group and Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. are among companies shortlisted by the Queensland government to develop a bauxite project in the northeast Australian state.

Queensland last year invited bids to develop the Aurukun resource, dropping a previous requirement to include a refinery. Aluminum Corp. of China, known as Chalco, in 2010 had ended an accord with the state government to develop the mine in the Cape York Peninsula after market conditions deteriorated. The project cost was estimated at A$3 billion ($3.1 billion) at the time.

“The successful companies will now have until mid-September to submit their detailed proposals for the mine,” Deputy Prime Minister Jeff Seeney said today in an e-mailed statement. “The government is working towards a final decision on a preferred proponent by year’s end.”

Mining companies are seeking to cut expenses as commodity prices decline, focusing on the lowest-cost projects. Refining bauxite from Aurukun at an already existing refinery in Australia or overseas would make the project more competitive.

The other shortlisted bidders are Chinese consortium Australian Indigenous Resources Pty, made up of Hong Kong-listed APAC Resources Ltd. and Aust-Pac Capital Pty, and Cape Alumina Consortium, comprising Australia-listed Cape Alumina Ltd., commodity trader Noble Group Ltd. and Qube Bulk Pty.

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