Shipment carries hopes of economy
Ilmenite from Goondicum mine is destined for South Korea
THE first shipment of ilmenite left Belridge’s Goondicum mine yesterday morning.
The mine, just 50km northeast of Monto, started production on August 2. The 6500 tonnes is bound for South Korea, with the next shipment of 8000 tonnes set to leave for Japan on November 20.
Deputy Premier and Mem- ber for Callide Jeff Seeney said he was grateful for the effort made by Belridge to create opportunities for Monto. “This is great for the region. It may be small in mining terms, but it’s a huge boost to the local economy,” Mr Seeney said.
“Monto is a small community and the addition of these jobs will make a big contribution to the area’s economy.
“The town suffered badly when the mine closed, and everyone in the district is hoping the re-opened mine will be successful.
“This first export shipment from the mine indicates there is every likelihood of that.”
Mine site manager Wicky Moffatt said it was now a waiting game.
“We anticipate exporting 7000 tonnes every month, mainly to Japan,” he said.
“At this stage it is difficult to say if we will expand but an additional source of revenue is the phosphorus-based apetitie, one of the by-products of ilmenite which is currently being sold to a fertilser company in New SouthWales.”
Mr Moffatt said any expansion of the business would be good for Monto. “All our employees live locally and will spend their money with local businesses,” he said.
Ilmenite is used for paint fillers, welding rods and pharmaceutical products.