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The Mantuan Downs open cut bentonite mine, that is owned by Australia Pacific Coal, is located west of Springsure and 78 kilometres south of Alpha in Central Queensland. The mine has a high grade calcium bentonite resource of more than 17 million tonnes.

The Mantuan Downs Bentonite Deposit Exists in Two Main Zones

The Mantuan Downs bentonite deposit consists of two main zones that are, in the main, flat lying. The upper zone is the most developed of the two.

The upper bentonite zone at the Mantuan mine is between four and 4.5 metres thick near its centre. The lower bentonite zone also contains high quality bentonite, its thickness of around two to four metres remains constant throughout.

Mantuan Downs Bentonite has Wide Uses

Bentonite produced at the Mantuan Downs mine is used in industry such as foundry steel and wine filtration, agricultural, livestock, soil improvement and composting applications. The mine is currently on care and maintenance while new markets for its products are being pursued.

Mantuan Downs Bentonite Marketed by Fertoz Pty Ltd for 12 Month Period

In October 2011, Australia Pacific Coal Limited reached a marketing agreement with Fertoz Pty Ltd, an Australian based phosphate exploration and development company, to market its stockpile of calcium bentonite held at the Mantuan Downs mine. Calcium bentonite is a narurally occurring clay mineral. The agreement gave Fertoz exclusive rights to sell the Mantuan Downs calcium bentonite for a period of 12 months. Fertoz had developed a number of products containing bentonite for use in various applications.

Australia Pacific Coal Limited had around 6,000 tonnes of calcium bentonite already processed and stockpiled at the Mantuan Downs mine that was available for immediate use when the marketing agreement with Fertoz was reached. Once the stockpile was depleted it was agreed that mining would re-commence at the Mantuan Downs mine to produce any additional material that may be required by Fertoz during its contract period.

Mantuan Downs has Life of Mine Exceeding 100 Years

Exploratory drilling has delineated a high quality calcium bentonite deposit at the Mantuan Downs mine that exceeds 10 million tonnes and quite close to the surface. It is believed to be the best quality and largest such deposit in Queensland. The Mantuan Downs mine has a life of mine exceeding 100 years at a production rate between 40,000 and 100,000 tonnes of calcium bentonite a year.

The Mantuan Downs operation is worked as an open cut mine. The thin overburden is first stripped to expose the bentonite bed. Once mined the ore is stockpiled, dried and graded by particle size. If necessary it is ground to a powder, bagged and then shipped to its buyers. The stockpiled ore is stored under cover to protect it from the weather. The bentonite is sold from the stockpile.

There are four different types of bentonite, each one is named after its dominant element, for example; aluminium bentonite, calcium bentonite, sodium bentonite and potassium bentonite. It is usually formed by the weathering of volcanic ash, usually in the presence of water.

Australia Pacific LNG

Australian Pacific LNG is Australia's largest producer of coal seam gas, located in South East Queensland. The project contributes to 40 percent of Queensland's Gas requirements which is also expected to boost the Queensland Economy by $A2 billion annually.The project is set to supply another six...........read more


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