Floods im­pact on mine

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

Photo: Ge­orge Smith

WAIT­ING: Bel­ridge di­rec­tor Mark McCauley is hope­ful of a pos­i­tive re­sult for the com­pany’s Goondicum mine, near Monto.

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