The Australian miner and a Vietnamese state-owned company aim to access up to 1.5bnt of bauxite from the Lam Dong and Dak Nong provinces.

Under the plan, Atlantic will join with Vietnam Natural Resources and Environment Corporation (T-MV) for the mine and associated rail and port infrastructure.

The parties have also agreed to undertake the downstream processing of bauxite in Vietnam, including alumina refining and aluminium smelting opportunities, on completion of a positive feasibility study.

Atlantic said some of the world’s largest aluminium companies have shown interest in mining bauxite in the region but an absence of key infrastructure has curtailed development.

Atlantic said it had agreed to undertake the exploration of the bauxite areas, provide the funding for the project feasibility and procure finance. The two groups hope to sign a definitive agreement in the first half of 2010.