Originally written by Spectator-Observer Partnership
THE delay to the proposed start of the Iluka Resources’ mineral sands mine at Douglas isn’t a concern to Southern Grampians Shire, according to its economic development officer, David Miller.
“They (Iluka) believe it will take about six months longer to crank up into full production (than estimated by Basin Minerals).”
Last week, Iluka announced to the Australian Stock Exchange it expected the Douglas mine would be commissioned in the second half of 2004. Basin Minerals Ñ which it has taken over Ñ originally planned to start mining in October, 1993.
Iluka told the Stock Exchange that Basin’s feasibility study didn’t meet Iluka’s internal requirements, and additional detailed technical and engineering studies were needed to underpin a $140 million investment for stage one.
Mr Miller said yesterday the site preparation and production works at the mine would proceed as planned.
“If they can possibly do it quicker they will.
“After they (Iluka) did their internal review of the timeframes, they thought that realistically they might be six months longer than Basin had initially indicated.
“They are currently redrilling the mine site. Whereas Basin drilled every 200 metres, Iluka is drilling every 100 metres. It’s just taking time to collect all that data, but it’s not to say that the project has been put on hold and that nothing is happening.
“The final investment decision in the third quarter next year relates to how big the mine will be,” Mr Miller said.
Iluka’s Murray Basin general manager, Peter Beilby will move to Hamilton at Christmas and the company’s community relations officer, Jordeana Cain, will be living in Hamilton from October 1.
The long-awaited announcement of a go ahead for the Douglas mine continues to be held over.
Originally, an announcement was expected by Planning Minister Mary Delahunty, last Friday, then Monday or Tuesday.
Mr Miller said on Wednesday morning his discussions with Ms Delahunty’s office produced no clear indication of an announcement.
“The word was to cool everything,” Mr Miller said. “The minister would announce it when she was good and ready.”