The Aurukun bauxite deposits have remained untouched ever since Alcan had its leases taken away by the State Government after failing to develop a mine over a 29-year period.

In 2007 Chalco had intended to develop a mine in the region, but pulled out as a result of the financial crisis.

Bauxite reserves are sufficient to support production of 6.5Mt per annum, according to a report by Thomson Reuters.