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The Capel mineral sands operations are located in the south west of Western Australia approximately 212 kilometres from Perth, between the towns of Bunbury and Busselton. Heavy mineral sand mining has restarted at the Tutunup South deposit, near Capel, after a layoff of about 18 months due to low global demand.

The Tutunup South Mine Provides Ilmenite for the Capel Synthetic Rutile Kiln

The Tutunup South mine supplies ilmenite as feedstock to the synthetic rutile kiln (SR2) at Capel. Both the mine and the synthetic rutile plant have been restarted after being placed on care and maintenance by the operations owner, Iluka Resources Limited, in early 2013. Re-commissioning began in March and was back in full production by April, 2015.

Iluka Retained Half is Workforce While its Capel Operation Were Idle for 18 Months

Iluka Resources Limited had been able to retain half its workforce during it closure period while its Capel operations were idle, a factor that helped the company return to full production quickly. The decision to restart operations meant the employment of around 80 personnel, as well as 70 contractors, therefore creating work for around 150 people.

The Capel synthetic rutile plant, that is able to produce 200,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile a year, was restarted successfully at minimal cost. Iluka are now in the position to be able to increase its synthetic rutile capacity further as market demand increases.

Tutunup South Mine Started Production in 2011

The Tutunup South chloride ilmenite mine began production in June, 2011, with its ilmenite ore processed at the Capel dry plant. The non-magnetic sands, such as zircon and rutile, are processed at the company's Namgulu mineral separation plant.

The Tutunup South mining operation is carried out by mining contracting firm, Watpac Civil and Mining. A company that works closely with, Iluka Resources Limited, to minimise noise and dust from the mining activity at the site, which is situated within a popular family holiday area. The contractor has been successful in relocating a fragile wetland to a nursery on a temporary basis while mining in the area is being progressed. The Tutunup South mine is forecast to produce over four million bank cubic metres of ore (BCM) feed during its life of mine.

Iluka Resources Limited was formed in 1998 when the titanium business of Renison Goldfields (RGC) 62 percent, merged with Westralian Sands 38 percent. As a result of the merger Iluka Resources Limited was put in the position to be able to produce 475,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile, 375,000 tonnes of zircon and 1.3 million tonnes of ilmenite. This meant it would be able to supply 32 percent of the world demand for titanium dioxide and 37 percent of the world's zircon needs. The largest shareholder in the new company was also the largest shareholder in RGC, Hanson Trust of Britain, with 24 percent. By January, 1999, Iluka reported a production result of 499,077 tonnes of ilmenite and 249,390 tonnes of synthetic rutile.

Capel Mineral Sands Have Been Mined Since 1959

Westralian Sands commenced production and processing of the Yoganup heavy mineral sands deposit, north of Capel, in 1959. RGC at that time was mining ilmenite to the south of the town with its own processing facility north of Capel on the Bussell Highway. The merger of the two mining companies saw the closure of the RGC processing plant.

Iluka Resources

Iluka Resources is focused on mineral sands exploration, project development and operations.Being a major producer of zircon and high grade titanium dioxide products of rutile and synthetic rutile.Iluka employs around 800 people across its projects and is a Perth based company.Some of Iluka...........read more


Iluka Resources
Level 23, 140 St Georges Terrace
Perth, WA 6000

GPO Box U1988
Perth, WA 6845


Phone08 9360 4700
fax08 9360 4777

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Watpac has a contract role at Capel-Operations

Watpac's Civil and Mining division operates throughout Qld, WA and Vic. Covering a range of commodities including iron ore, gold, coal and mineral sands.Providing services including contract open cut mining, drilling and blasting, mineral and processing facilities.Also included in their civil scope ...Read More


Level 1, 12 Commercial Rd
Newstead, QLD 4006

PO Box 2053
Newstead, QLD 4006



More info about Watpac

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