25/08/2017 - 13:53

New sandalwood player to enter market

25/08/2017 - 13:53

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Some of the major players formerly behind essential oils business Mt Romance are involved in a new sandalwood player in Western Australia, which is half-owned by an indigenous group.

Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils will source sandalwood from the central deserts in WA.

Some of the major players formerly behind essential oils business Mt Romance are involved in a new sandalwood player in Western Australia, which is half-owned by an indigenous group.

Dutjahn Sandalwood Oils has announced it will begin supplying Australian sandalwood oil from December, and plans to build a distillation facility in Kalgoorlie.

The company is backed by Dutjahn Custodians, Kutkabbuba Aboriginal Corporation and WA Sandalwood Plantations, a private company founded by Perth businessmen Keith Drage and Ron Mulder.

DSO’s team also includes Mt Romance founder Steven Birkbeck and former managing director David Brocklehurst, who are involved in a consulting capacity.

Mt Romance was sold to now-embattled Indian sandalwood producer Quintis for about $29 million in 2008.

“When we met the Dutjahn indigenous stakeholders we immediately identified with their philosophy, vision and dedication to Australian sandalwood,” Mr Drage said.

“We both seek to reinvigorate Australian sandalwood oil, to assist our customers compound and communicate exceptional perfumes and active cosmeceutical bases that rightfully demand world’s best practice in the supply chain.”

Mr Brocklehurst said the venture would broaden the supply and give buyers, brands and the aromatherapy market a new, quality supplier.

“The indigenous partnership in the business makes it a compelling story,” he said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said DSO’s plans would result in a commercial processing and marketing capability in the Goldfields, which would sustainably use the vast and pristine central desert sandalwood forests to create employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the local Aboriginal community,” he said.

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