Re-opening mine now even closer
Approval for road to cut Monto mine’s travel time to port.
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.