Re-open­ing mine now even closer

Ap­proval for road to cut Monto mine’s travel time to port.

Central and North Burnett Times - - CENTRAL & NORTH BURNETT TIMES - Emily Smith

IT LOOKS like a big­ger and bet­ter mine will soon be back in op­er­a­tion, af­ter it was given the green light to up­grade ac­cess roads last week.

Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil ap­proved the up­grade of road re­serves to con­nect the Goondicum il­menite mine with Kalpowar Rd and the Bruce Hwy, and re­duce the truck haulage dis­tance by about 100km.

“This ap­proval was vi­tal to the mine re­open­ing; we have no more ma­jor hur­dles to over­come,” Me­lior re­sources CEO Mark McCauley said on Fri­day.

“When we do re­open we will be em­ploy­ing about twice as many peo­ple as last time; be­cause we hope to be pro­duc­ing about twice as much prod­uct.”

Em­ploy­ing 80 full and part-time staff, as well as pro­duc­ing twice as much il­menite would be pos­si­ble through fund­ing from Me­lior Re­sources, the 100% share­holder in the mine’s owner Belridge En­ter­prises as of May this year.

If all goes to plan, it has been es­ti­mated the mine will have a 10-year life­span.

The up­grade to the east­ern ac­cess point will be the mine’s ma­jor haulage point, and will al­low mine trucks much eas­ier ac­cess to both the Glad­stone port and the Bund­aberg port via the Bruce Hwy.

Be­fore the mine closed in June last year, they had ex­ported from the much larger port of Glad­stone.

“We are still in dis­cus­sions with the Bund­aberg port and look­ing at the fa­cil­i­ties avail­able for load­ing ships there,” Mr McCauley said.

“There are pros and cons to ei­ther (port op­tions).”

Mr McCauley said the Goondicum project would not be big enough to use rail to get their prod­uct to port.

He said he was hop­ing to get the go-ahead from the Me­lior Re­sources board as soon as pos­si­ble.

He said the world il­menite prices would be vi­tal in this de­ci­sion.

GREEN LIGHT: The Goondicum il­menite project has just over­come its last ma­jor hur­dle be­fore re-open­ing.

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