Premier Mark McGowan today officially opened Iluka Resources’ Cataby mine in the Shire of Dandaragan.
The project, worth approximately $270 million, created 600 jobs during its construction phase and will sustain around 600 ongoing jobs across three Iluka sites during the 13-year life of the mine.
This includes 240 jobs at Cataby, 200 in Capel and 150 in Geraldton.
Western Australia is the mineral processing hub of Iluka’s Australian operations. Overall, Iluka’s mining, processing, rehabilitation and corporate activities employ approximately 800 WA workers.
Iluka expects average annual production from Cataby to be 200,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile (from 370,000 tonnes of ilmenite), 50,000 tonnes of zircon and 30,000 tonnes of rutile.
Synthetic rutile is an upgraded ilmenite product with increased titanium dioxide content. Through its processing facilities at Capel, Iluka has the capacity to produce around 320,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile per annum.
The company’s Narngulu mineral separation plant at Geraldton processes heavy mineral concentrate from Cataby and South Australia to produce rutile and zircon.
These mineral sands products are used in a range of industrial and household applications, including pigment, ceramics, titanium metal, water and air purification systems and fibre optics.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“I commend Iluka on the opening of the Cataby operation and for continuing to be a significant creator of jobs in Western Australia’s Mid-West and South-West regions.
“These mining and processing jobs provide opportunities for regional workers and their families, and will support the local economies of Dandaragan, Capel and Geraldton over many years.
“It’s exciting to see Western Australia’s continued success as a producer of mineral sands.
“In Iluka’s case, downstream processing sees the value of these products captured here in WA, creating more employment opportunities for Western Australians. I look forward to seeing this industry continue to grow in our State, with growing demand forecast globally.
“This project is another sign of confidence returning to Western Australia’s economy, and I look forward to seeing the community benefit from Iluka’s investment.”