Metro Mining (ASX:MMI) is capping off 2019 in style with production from the Bauxite Hills project in Queensland achieving the upper end of its guidance for the year.

The company mined over 1.2 million tonnes (Mt) of bauxite in the fourth quarter of 2019, taking its total mined ore in 2019 up to 3.5Mt, comfortably in the range of the 3.3Mt to 3.5Mt that it had forecast.

Mining at Bauxite Hills began in April 2018 and Metro has been steadily ramping up operations since that time.

In November, the Australian government committed to providing the company with a $47.5m loan for its proposed floating terminal, a key component of its planned stage two expansion project.

READ: Australian government sinks $47.5m into floating bauxite

The expansion will increase production to 6 million wet tonnes and is expected to lower life-of-mine operating costs by about 18 per cent.

Bauxite Hills is a direct shipping ore (DSO) operation with current reserves of 109.5Mt and is expected to produce 4Mt of bauxite in 2020.

DSO refers to minerals that require only simple crushing before they are exported, which keeps costs low.

“It is extremely pleasing that we’ve achieved our production guidance for the year, meaning Bauxite Hills has done that for its first two years of operations, something that is not easy, and an achievement our team should rightfully be proud of,” managing director Simon Finnis said.


In other ASX bulk metals news today:

Archer Materials (ASX:AXE) will receive a little more from the sale of its Leigh Creek magnesite project in South Australia. The company will now receive a total of $2.25m on completion of the sale, up from the previous price of $2m.