Iluka Resources is set to mothball the Jacinth-Ambrosia mine in South Australia, with 33 jobs to be cut.
The mineral sands mine will be shut down for 18 to 24 months, starting on April 16.
Iluka managing director David Robb said the remaining 46 positions at the mine would be retained or redeployed.
“The suspension is consistent with Iluka’s shareholder focused objective in that it will improve cash flow available for shareholders at a time of subdued market demand while also contributing to an improvement in zircon market dynamics as demand recovers,” he said.
“Inevitably, there will be further job losses associated with contractors and support services to the operation.”
Robb said the company would work with local and state government to coordinate the transition arrangements.
The Jacinth-Ambrosia deposit was discovered in 2005, and has the capacity to supply 25 to 30 per cent of the world’s zircon demand.
Robb said Iluka had altered production at the plant to operate at full capacity for maximum efficiency and to build stockpiles.
Concentrate stockpiles at Jacinth-Ambrosia are now at 800,000 tonnes, and will be processed at Iluka’s plants in Western Australia and Victoria.