HomeMinesQLDCape Flattery
LEVEL 36, 120 COLLINS STREET MELBOURNE VIC , 3000
P: 03 9275 3999 F: 03 9275 3928
www.mitsubishicorp.com

CAPE FLATTERY

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No other silica sand mine anywhere else in the world exports more silica sand than the Cape Flattery open pit in far northern Queensland. The Cape Flattery mine has been in operation since 1967 and has a lease covering 6500 hectares with a silica sand resource estimated at being a staggering 500 million tonnes.

A Mine Started by the Hope Vale Aboriginal Community

The Cape Flattery mine is unique in the mining industry in that it was the Aboriginal people of the Hope Vale community who actually began mining the sand in the early 1960's. Local people used to shovel the sand into bags and physically carry the bags to the freighters moored off shore for exporting to Japan. Their efforts continued in this way until the project developed into the super large operation it is today.

Mitsubishi Acquired Cape Flattery Mine in 1997

The mine became a world standard mine in 1997 when it was acquired by Mitsubishi Corporation for the purposes of supplying two million tonnes of top quality silica sand annually to its clients in Japan, the Philippines,Taiwan, South Korea and other Asian countries. Mitsubishi extract the silica sand, ship it out of Cape Flattery port and distribute it throughout Asia.

Major Upgrading Took Place in the 1980's

In the 1980's Mitsubishi built a large dock, containing a large silica sand refinery, to facilitate ships of up to 70,000 tonnes loading up to 20,000 tonnes of silica sand a day at the port. It has been estimated that there is sufficient reserves of high grade silica sand at Cape Flattery to supply the market for the next 100 years.

Silica sand is mined at Cape Flattery with a front end loader and taken by slurry line or conveyor belt to the processing plant for washing and filtering to remove impurities such as vegetation and rocks etc. The sand is then graded and sent to the wharf that goes out to sea for 500 metres at the Cape flattery headland's southern point.

Almost Half the Workforce at Cape Flattery is Indigenous

The Cape Flattery silica sand mine is located 220 kilometres north of Cairns on the Cape York Peninsula facing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is fully owned by a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corporation, Cape Flattery Silica Sand Mines Limited. Mitsubishi is the world's leading producer of silica sand that is used in the chemical, foundry and glass industry. The mine employs around 100 people of which almost half are indigenous from the local Hope Vale Aboriginal Community.

Deal Struck Between Mitsubishi and the Hope Vale Community Regarding Royalty Payments

Cape Flattery is a mine site within a beautifully majestic seemingly never ending beach, the home of the Hope Vale people. The company encountered a dispute with the local people in 1992 when it was running out of sand on its leasehold and had to come to an agreement with the Hope Vale Community to allow it to access Aboriginal land to enable it to continue. The indigenous community looked forward to the operation continuing as long as it could access some of the profit in the form of royalties, rather than it all going to benefit multinational companies in far away Tokyo. The company argued it was providing employment for the Hope Vale people and that it wasn't making enough profit as the economic outlook was poor and shipping costs were increasing. It told the people that it would be more economic for it to access its sand from Vietnam.


A minimalist deal was struck with the community however but in March 2005 it stated it would be running at a loss. The community argued back that exports of silica sand out of Port Flattery had increased from 1.65 million tonnes to 1.8 million tones over the preceding two years. The agreement stood and remains so until this day.

Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is a global operator with businesses across every industry including environmental, infrastructure, energy, mining, machinery and chemicals. With over 200 offices and subsidiaries in over 90 countries, a network of over 500 group companies and a workforce of over 65,000...........read more

ADDRESS

Mitsubishi Corporation
Level 36, 120 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

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Phone0392753999
fax0392753928

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