Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) has reached an agreement with Switzerland-based Glencore to acquire 30% stake in the Aurukun bauxite project in Australia.

The acquisition is the company’s first investment in the mining of bauxite, a raw material of aluminium, in addition to its existing aluminium smelting and trading operations.

In addition to its core operations in metallurgical coal and copper, MCʼs mineral resources group is investing and developing iron ore and aluminium resources to improve outcomes.

Aurukun is currently an undeveloped bauxite mine, located in Queensland, Australia, where Glencore is evaluating the feasibility of developing the mine.

MC believes that the project is a promising asset with competitive resource volume and production costs, and is planning to begin early-stage development through joint operations with Glencore.

With an estimated mine life of 20 years, Aurukun is expected to have an annual production capacity of 8 million tonnes. The bauxite mine is projected to contain resources of 357 million tonnes.

Mitsubishi stated: “Through the acquisition and development of the Project together with other business activities, MC will continuously secure competitive assets that contribute to a stable, global supply of a resource, and also to strive for sustainable growth by simultaneously generating economic, societal, and environmental values.”

Mitsubishi Development (MDP), the Australia-based wholly owned subsidiary of MC, will own the 30% stake in the project, subject to regulatory approvals, including from the Queensland Government.

MDP would conclude the feasibility studies, by utilising its expertise in the mining business in Australia, and working together with Glencore.

Furthermore, the company is expected to reach a final investment decision on development of the mine during 2022.

In February last year, Mitsubishi Materials (MMC) announced the acquisition of a 30% interest in Mantoverde copper mine and associated projects from Mantos Copper in Chile for $263m.