WA Kaolin begins Wickepin plant construction


WA Kaolin has started building works on the production plant at the Wickepin kaolin clay project in Western Australia.

AUSPAN has been contracted to complete the stage one building structural design and construction works and has mobilised at the site south of Perth.

The contractor’s team of 20 workers have started on the footings and laying the slab of the concrete batching plant, which was delivered to Wickepin on January 6.

WA Kaolin chief executive officer Andrew Sorensen said the company is on track to commence production plant building in February following the early works by AUSPAN.

AUSPAN general manager Ben Richardson added that mobilisation was underway and construction on site was ramping up following the Christmas break.

“Footings are almost complete, and we will be ramping up to a construction team of approximately 25 by early February,” Richardson said.

“With approximately 100 tonnes of structural steel already delivered to site, the landscape is about to change with the commencement of structural steel installation.”

These works are in line with WA Kaolin growing its kaolin contracts and orders with customers, with the Kwinana production facility is sold out on a two-shift five-day basis.

The Wickepin project is one of the largest known kaolin resources in the world, with an ore reserve estimate of 30.5 million tonnes to be mined over a 30-year mine life.

WA Kaolin has developed a dry processing method known as K99 to convert raw material into feedstock for global customers at a small-scale commercial processing plant at Kwinana.

The company, which already sells kaolin products from Wickepin for Tier 1 customers, is planning to boost production at Wickepin to 200,000 tonnes a year by the end of 2022.

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