Floods impact on mine
MONTO’S agricultural sector was not the only industry to be affected by flooding.
Belridge Enterprises’ Goondicum mine had to be evacuated on January 24 and was out of action for eight days.
The mine, located about 50km east of Monto, produces ilmunite and a related material, apetite.
When flooding receded, the material at the mine was hard to handle and then a second wave of flooding took place.
As a consequence, no shipments were made in March.
Company director Mark McCauley said he hoped to see shipments of 8.5 tonnes in June, however no profit had been made.
“We had a reasonable April with 6500 tonnes shipped out but that is still short of the average 8000,” Mr McCauley said.
“The global price for ilmunite is $200 per tonne, down from $290 12 months ago, and with such a lowprice there are no plans for expansion. There are not many businesses that can absorb that sort of price drop.
“We have no domestic competitors. This is a global market and therewere no floods in Vietnam or India.”
The Goondicum mine employs about 50 people. It was opened in September 2012, with the first shipment made in November.
Ilmunite is used in welding rods and pharmaceutical products. Apetite is used mainly to produce organic fertilisers.
WAITING: Belridge director Mark McCauley is hopeful of a positive result for the company’s Goondicum mine, near Monto.