SINGAPORE, Oct 27, 2011 (Dow Jones) -- Cape Alumina (CBX.AU) is hoping to bring its Bauxite Hills mine into production in mid-2014 to take advantage of strong Chinese demand for bauxite, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Graeme Sherlock told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.
The mine, which is in Queensland, Australia, has a 10-15 year life and will produce as much as 10 million metric tons a year, which Sherlock said will be sold to China to satisfy the country's rising demand for aluminum due to rapid growth in the construction and transportation sectors.
"When we get to 2014-2015, it's looking very positive for demand," he said on the sidelines of Metal Bulletin's Asian Bauxite and Alumina Conference in Singapore. "There's probably the largest potential in China, although we're seeing interest from other Asian countries too."
There will be "ups and downs" in China, he said, but forecasts sustained strong growth there for the next 10-15 years.
The company is focusing on developing Bauxite Hills after Queensland state laws designed to protect the catchment areas of rivers in made the company's Pisolite Hills project unviable, he said.
"We've got [Pisolite Hills] on hold, we still continue to review the economics of the project," he said. "It will continue to stay on hold until things may change from an economic perspective in the medium term."
The company could consider running Pisolite Hills as a satellite project or a stand alone asset in the future, he said. Cape Alumina is not planning to build an alumina refinery near its mine at this time.
The company is expecting to announce an inferred resource for Bauxite Hills' BH1 area in early December, Sherlock said.