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The Lake Macleod Gypsum project is operated by Dampier Salt Limited, a company majority owned by Rio Tinto (68.4 percent), Marubeni Corporation (21.5 percent) and Sojitz (10.1 percent). The project is part of the Lake MacLeod salt mine which is located 860 kilometres north west of Perth, in Western Australia.

Lake MacLeod Once Produced 1.5 Million Tonnes of Gypsum a Year

The Lake MacLeod salt mine began during the 1960's and was operated by the Texada Salt Company. Its first shipment was shipped out of the Cape Cuvier ship loading facility in 1969. Dampier Salt Limited acquired the operation when it purchased Texada from BHP in 1978. Dampier Salt Limited is one of the largest privately owned salt producers in the world with a capacity to produce up to 2.9 million tonnes of salt a year. The company had also been a major producer of gypsum, producing around 1.5 million tonnes annually. The Lake Macleod project covers an operational area of 764 hectares within a lease covering of 220,000 hectares.

Gypsum was Previously Recovered From Lake MacLeod From 1997 to 2008

Gypsum was mined at the Lake Macleod project from 1997 to 2008. The gypsum mining area is located in the southern part of Lake MacLeod, off Blowholes Road, 40 kilometres north of the town of Carnarvon, within the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

Gypsum Mining Ceased at Lake MacLeod in 2008

The gypsum mining project was placed on care and maintenance following its closure in 2008, however, Dampier Salt Limited has once again decided to re-start mining gypsum at the Lake Macleod salt mine. Mining of gypsum is to carried out on a campaign basis with a production target of 500,000 tonnes of gypsum a year. Existing stockpiles of leached gypsum will be reclaimed initially. When this source is exhausted further mining of raw gypsum will take place using excavation and haulage truck method of mining. The raw gypsum will be excavated from the surface of the lake, following excavation the gypsum will be subjected to heap leaching to allow it to reach the required level of chloride before shipping it out of the Cape Cuvier port.

Gypsum Mining Re-starts at Lake MacLeod Using Existing Infrastructure

The re-starting of the gypsum mine at Lake MacLeod requires the re-commissioning of the existing leach pad on the surface of the lake near the area to be mined. All existing pipelines will require re-activation. The anticipated production level of 500,000 tonnes of gypsum a year will require around 12 shiploads to leave the port annually, This will require gypsum to be stockpiled at the port for anything from 60 to 120 days a year. It is expected the facility will be operational for around 250 days each year and that the gypsum will be transported from the mine to the port between five and 10 days before each ship arrives for loading. No new infrastructure has been required for the project as all operational support systems and existing infrastructure will be re-used.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a major producer of iron ore, coal, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, uranium, copper, gold, diamonds, salt and energy across the globe. Businesses include open pit and underground mines, refineries, smelters, mills and power stations. Also a number of research facilities more


Rio Tinto
152-158 St George s Terrace
Perth, WA 6000



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