More jobs as mining site opens
Mine mothballed in 2013 now employing 50
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.