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The Tutunup South, ilmenite, rutile and zircon open pit mine, 195 kilometres south of Perth and 15 kilometres south of Brusselton, in Western Australia had no sooner got up and running when world demand for its products slumped and mine owner Iluka was forced to close operations until demand once again improves.

Watpac Civil and Mining Awarded the Tutunup South Mining Contract by Iluka

The contract to develop the mine and to operate it for the first five years wasawarded to Watpac Civil and Mining who commenced production at Tutunup South in June 2011. The mine was producing chloride ilmenite that was used as a feed source to Iluka's synthitic rutile production. The ilmenite from the mine was processed at Iluka's Capel dry plant. The non- magnetic zircon and rutile that was also produced at the Tutunup South/Iluka mine was processed at the Iluka Narngulu Mineral Separation Plant that was always dependant on plant availability and market demand.

Weak Market Conditions Force Iluka to Make the Tutunup South Operation Idle

The action taken by Iluka to slow the company's production of these products has been brought about as a result of the weak market conditions that existed throughout 2012 which saw the company producing more than it was able to sell. Despite the company slowing production during 2012 it still wasn't enough and more drastic action such as closing the Tutunup South /Iluka Mine was found to a necessary action. However, it is believed 2013 will see things start to improve as Iluka draws down on stockpiled products and starts processing concentrate stocks. It is believed that this will be enough to see production pick up again in 2014.

Market not Able to Absorb Tutunup South Production

Site works began at the Tutunup South /Iluka Mine in the final quarter of 2010 and production began at the mine in June 2011, a month earlier than expected. It's first production went mainly towards supplementing the company's feed sources for its Synthetic rutile production. The heavy mineral grading from the mine was around 10 percent. Although the Tutunup South/Iluka operation produced around 0.11 million tonnes of ilmenite in 2011 and 0.17 million tonnes in 2012. the market was not able to absorb it.

Tutunup South has Life of Mine of Five Years

Iluka had planned for the Tutunup South/Iluka sands mine to contribute 1.2 million tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate to the company's total production during the life of the mine. The Iluka North Capel Processing Plant was to handle all of Tutunum South Mine's production of ilmenite for feedstock requirements for its synthetic rutile kiln that was set up to handle 200 tonnes of ore an hour. This level of production was planned to last for the next four to five years.
The sand mining carried out at Tutunup South was undertaken by means of dry mining with wet concentrate. The heavy metal concentrate was then taken by truck to the North Capel Processing Plant for treatment before being taken to the Bunbury port for exporting overseas. Just prior to closure, the Tutunup South/Iluka Mine had reached its full production expectations.

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 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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