More jobs as min­ing site opens

Mine moth­balled in 2013 now em­ploy­ing 50

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Bar­clay White Bar­clay.White@south­bur­nett­

IT was all doom and gloom at the Goondicum mine in 2013 when low re­source prices led to its clo­sure.

But the moth­balled mine is now back in op­er­a­tion and em­ploy­ing 50 work­ers.

There hasn’t been a price in­crease of il­menite, but the mine op­er­a­tor Me­lior Re­sources said that shouldn’t mat­ter. Me­lior CEO Mark McCauley said new ef­fi­cien­cies should help dou­ble pro­duc­tion and keep the mine sus­tain­able.

THE Goondicum Mine near Monto that was moth­balled in 2013 is com­ing back in to op­er­a­tion.

About 35 peo­ple lost their jobs af­ter the mine clo­sure, which was blamed on low prices for il­menite.

New own­ers Me­lior Re­sources said de­spite prices not im­prov­ing, a range of con­di­tions would im­prove prof­itabil­ity of the mine.

Me­lior CEO Mark McCauley said they would work to in­crease pro­duc­tion and im­prove ef­fi­cien­cies at the site this time around.

Although he an­tic­i­pated it could take an­other five months to get back up to full pro­duc­tion, the mine is al­ready em­ploy­ing 50 peo­ple.

“It’s very pos­i­tive for Monto,” he said.

“It pro­vides a great boost to the econ­omy.”

When it is in full pro­duc­tion, the mine will ex­port about 200,000 tonnes of il­menite per year, more than dou­ble what it pre­vi­ously pro­duced.

“We have put a lot of ef­fort into it. It’s very ex­cit­ing but also nerve wrack­ing.”

“We are in­creas­ing the through­put, im­prov­ing the pro­cess­ing cir­cuit.And we will hope­fully cut our lo­gis­tics cost.”

Me­lior CEO Mark McCauley

It’s very pos­i­tive for Monto. It pro­vides a great boost to the econ­omy

He said they were helped by North Bur­nett and Bund­aberg coun­cils with fund­ing for a new ac­cess road from the site.

“At the mo­ment we ship through Glad­stone but with this road we can ship through Glad­stone or Bund­aberg,” he said.

“This will cut about 100kms off the dis­tance to a port.”

The mine started pro­duc­tion in mid-April af­ter a long process of recom­mis­sion­ing of the ma­chin­ery at the site.

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