EXTRACTION of the first raw materials from Australian Bauxite's Bald Hill operation will begin next week.
Australian Bauxite chief operating officer Leon Hawker said road construction and topsoil preservation were under way, with initial trenches to be dug in the coming days.
"Next week we should be starting to dig up some ore and crush it and screen it," Mr Hawker said.
"We won't be selling any ore for a couple of months, we'll be digging and perfecting our excavation style and processes and building an ore stockpile."
Rail exportation of bauxite from the mine is expected to begin late next month or early March.
Mr Hawker said about three people were now working on site and a further seven were expected to arrive by Wednesday.
"We'll very gradually expand as site offices are put in place and we start to dig the ore," he said.
Mr Hawker said strong interest from buyers on mainland Australia, India and China had so far been registered with the company.
"Bauxite can't be processed in Tasmania, there's no alumina refinery in the state," he said.
"It would be nicely ironic if we were able to sell bauxite to the refinery at Gladstone for it to come back to Bell Bay as alumina to be turned into aluminium."
Operations at the site are expected to last for three to five years, and could see the company apply for a further two mining leases in the region.