Orica to build ammonium nitrate plant in WA; under fire in QLD

Orica has sign an agreement with Yara and Apache to build an ammonium nitrate plant on WA's Burrup peninsula, and has also come under fire for wastewater releases in QLD.

Orica has sign an agreement with Yara and Apache to build an ammonium nitrate plant on WA’s Burrup peninsula.

The companies will form a joint venture to build a 330 000 tonne plant on the Burrup peninsula to service mining companies in the Pilbara.

Yara will be the operator of the plant while Orica will manage sales and distribution.

The parties are aiming to begin construction by the middle of the year.

Yara had previously sought to construct an ammonium nitrate plant in the region through a joint venture with Burrup Nitrates.

However joint venture partner Burrup attempted to block the plant, with owner Pankaj Oswal stating that "Yara has attempted to railroad me into agreeing to commence the development of the TAN plant immediately on terms proposed by Yara without consultation with me and based on inaccurate, out-of-date and inadequate information.

"I am especially disappointed because I have made plain my view that Yara is seeking to lock the Burrup TAN plant in on its terms in order to make my BHL shares less attractive to other buyers."

According to the West, he declined to add further detail as to why he will not move forward on the plant’s construction.

Orica has recently come under investigation by the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) for wastewater released from the Yarwun plant over the last two months.

The DERM last night issued an order to Orica to cease water released unless authorised, the Gladstone Observer reports.

The explosives manufacturer is currently licenced to discharge waste containing one milligram of total cyanide per litre of water.

However Orica notified the Department is had carried out a number of discharges since January of around 2 milligrams per litre.

It went on to state that it is not currently exceeding the limit and the last incident on 22 February.

DERM investigations continue.


Image: Gladstone Observer – Chrissy Harris.


To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.