Iluka opens Cataby operation following first production

Heavy minerals concentrate. Image: Iluka Resources

Iluka Resources and Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan have officially opened the Cataby mineral sands mine in Western Australia.

The $275 million project has involved 600 jobs during its construction phase and is expected to sustain 600 ongoing jobs during a 13-year mine life.

Iluka anticipates Cataby to produce an average of 200,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile, 50,000 tonnes of zircon and 30,000 tonnes of rutile every year.

The company has the capacity to produce around 320,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile every year through its processing facilities at Capel, around 350 kilometres south of Cataby.

Heavy mineral concentrate from Cataby will be processed at Iluka’s Narngulu mineral separation at Geraldton, around 250 kilometres north of Cataby, to produce rutile and zircon.

“I commend Iluka on the opening of the Cataby operation and for continuing to be a significant creator of jobs in Western Australia’s Mid-West and South-West regions,” McGowan said.

“It’s exciting to see Western Australia’s continued success as a producer of mineral sands.”

Cataby was approved in December 2017 and commenced first production in the second quarter of this year. This project is another sign of “confidence” returning to Western Australia’s economy, according to McGowan.

Iluka is also working on the Lanti and Gangama expansions in Sierra Leone for commissioning in mid-2019.

These two projects, along with some decommissioning works, are expected to contribute to an estimated $330 million capital expenditure for Iluka in 2019.

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