PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Western Australian government has amended a state agreement with US-based Tronox that would allow the company to pursue growth opportunities at its mineral sands projects.
Tronox operates a heavy mineral sands mine at Cooljarloo, dry processing and synthetic rutile plants near Muchea and a titanium dioxide pigment plant at Kwinana.
The amendment will allow the US company to pursue new sources of feedstock for its processing facilities from tenements not covered by the original state agreement, which could potentially include the development of two new mines at Dongara and Cooljarloo West.
It is estimated that the two new mines could generate up to A$220-million in capital expenditure and create 110 construction jobs.
"The integration of Tronox's operations make it one of our most significant value-adding projects, with the processing of ilmenite into titanium dioxide pigment increasing its value by about 15 times,” Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said on Thursday.
"Tronox's operations provide a substantial contribution to the state's economy, including more than 600 direct jobs, over A$7-million in annual royalties, and about A$250-million spent on local goods and services each year.
"This variation will provide Tronox with greater flexibility to remain competitive in the global market by allowing the use of additional feedstock and thereby ensuring production at its state agreement facilities is maintained."