25/08/2008 - 13:20

Iluka spends $210m to boost production

25/08/2008 - 13:20

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Perth-based Iluka Resources Ltd will capitalise on the high Chinese demand for zircon with a commitment today to spend a further $210 million to boost production at its Victorian projects.

Perth-based Iluka Resources Ltd will capitalise on the high Chinese demand for zircon with a commitment today to spend a further $210 million to boost production at its Victorian projects.

At a conference presentation today, Iluka general manager - Murray Basin Peter Beilby said the company is aiming to increase production to 150,000 tonnes of zircon each year by 2011.

He added that the higher output would represent combined production from existing mines (Douglas and Bondi) around Hamilton and new mines due to be commissioned early next year in the Northern Murray Basin.

Iluka produced 128,000 tonnes of zircon and 59,000 tonnes of rutile in Victoria in calendar 2007.

The company plans to lift combined rutile production to approximately 180,000 tonnes per annum by the 2011 target date.

"The Northern Murray Basin can be expected to constitute Iluka's main source of rutile production in the future," Mr Beilby said.

"By this time next year, we will have invested around $500 million in growing a mineral sands business sin Victoria."

Panel hearings for environmental approvals for the proposed new Kulwin mine near Ouyen were held last month with $209 million to be spent developing the new mine and primary processing plant at Kulwin.

"We have set a target of commissioning Kulwin in the first quarter of next year with first site activities, subject to Ministerial and other approvals, scheduled for next quarter," Mr Beilby said.

"The construction stage should offer employment for up to 250 people, with the permanent operations involving 30 Iluka employees and up to 100 contractors."

Kulwin will include a 400 tonne per hour pre-concentrator plant, a 200 tonne per hour wet concentrator plant, and the construction of a 66 kilovolt powerline from Ouyen.

The Heavy Mineral Concentrate produced from Kulwin will be processed through the already established Hamilton Mineral Separation Plant with products from the Plant being exported through Portland.

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