Iluka’s Synthetic Rutile kiln 2 where Cataby production will be processed. Image: Iluka Resources.
BY ELIZABETH FABRI
MINERAL sands producer Iluka Resources’ has approved the development of its Cataby mine in WA, after securing major offtake agreements in December.
Cataby, 150km north of Perth, will produce an average of 370,000 tonnes of chloride ilmenite per annum, which will be processed into 200,000tpa of premium grade synthetic rutile at Iluka’s Synthetic Rutile kiln 2 (SR2), 350km south of the project.
The mine will also produce about 50,000tpa of premium grade zircon and 30,000tpa of rutile, which will be processed at Iluka’s Narngulu mineral separation plant in Geraldton.
On 12 December, Iluka announced it had entered into take-or-pay offtake agreements for a minimum of 175,000t of synthetic rutile per annum (about 85 per cent of production capacity from SR2 for a minimum of four years out of its 8.5 year plus mine life.
Iluka managing director Tom O’Leary said construction would take 18 months, with first production expected in June 2019.
“The construction period – with works estimated to cost between $250 million to $275 million – will employ up to 250 workers at its peak,” Mr O’Leary said.
“Once in operation, the project will sustain a workforce of approximately 160 people.
“Pre-execute contracts have been awarded and tendering for the balance of construction contracts is well advanced.”