Iluka Resources has begun transportation of minerals sands from its Murray Basin operations to the Hamilton Mineral Separation Plant.
Victoria‘s minister for public transport Terry Mulder welcomed the move, stating it was an example of the government working closely with the mining industry.
Mulder explained that the concentrates from Ouyen would go by road to the Hopetoun rail lines, and then transported via rail 300 kilometres to the processing facility.
"This new rail operation will be more efficient by removing the need for B Double trucks to carry the mineral sands all the way to Hamilton. As many as 20,000 truck movements a year may be cut from the Henty Highway with this alternative, reducing road wear and tear and improving local amenity, particularly in rural cities and towns such as Hopetoun, Warracknabeal, Horsham, and Hamilton," Mulder stated.
Iluka Resources general manager Australian operations, Steve Wickham, said the rail freight project is a sign of Iluka’s investment in the state.
The Murray Basin operation is Iluka’s main source of rutile production as a well as zircon.
Iluka Resources Limited processes heavy mineral concentrate at the Hamilton site of which 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes is exported primarily through the Port of Portland every year.