Green light for mineral sands project

Iluka Resources is investing $420 million in developing the Jacinth-Ambrosia heavy mineral sands project, north-west of Ceduna.

Iluka Resources is investing $420 million in developing the Jacinth-Ambrosia heavy mineral sands project project, north-west of Ceduna.

Iluka is confident that further discoveries of mineral sands are likely to be made within its tenement holding of more than 52,000 square kilometres in the Eucla Basin.

Subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, Iluka plans to begin mining and shipping heavy mineral concentrate from South Australia by the end of first quarter in 2010.

The project is estimated to contribute about 3-5% of the South Australian Strategic Plan target of increasing mineral production to $3 billion by 2014.

Investment by Australian Stock Exchange-listed Iluka Resources in the mineral sands project will create up to 250 jobs during the construction phase of the project.

A large percentage of these positions are to be filled locally including opportunities for indigenous workers.

Iluka Resources expects to create 110 permanent jobs during the operation of the mine.

The Jacinth-Ambrosia deposits are expected to produce an estimated 2.9 million tonnes of recoverable zircon during the estimated 10-year life of the mine.

Iluka expects to sustain annual production of about 300,000 tonnes of zircon from the Jacinth deposit from the first full year of operation in 2011 until 2014.

Zircon is primarily used for its high temperature resistance and offers great resistance to chemical attack.

The resource is mainly used in the ceramics and refractories industries.

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