Goondicum mine production ahead of schedule
MELIOR Resources has started operations at its Goondicum ilmenite and apatite mine and is expecting full-scale production by mid-year.
According to a January 14 progress report, production at the mine near Monto remained ahead of schedule with December's ilmenite output being almost three times budget.
The mine's apatite production at 189 tonnes was below expectation, but the report said this would continue "improving as the commissioning focus shifts to the apatite circuit".
Chief executive Mark McCauley said the company was pleased its project commissioning continued to "exceed budget".
"We are well on track for full commercialisation," Mr McCauley said.
"We look forward to achieving a key milestone with our first shipment later in this first quarter.
"Ilmenite prices continue to be robust and we anticipate strong metrics for the company and shareholders as we achieve full production later this year."
The first load of ilmenite is expected to be shipped from the port of Gladstone.
The Goondicum mine was placed on care and maintenance in 2015 due to weak ilmenite prices.
Mr McCauley said the company was committed to maximising output moving forward, with the decision to restart based on factors including strong project economics and recovery of ilmenite prices.
Ilmenite is a titanium-iron oxide used for the production of pigment required in a wide range of industrial applications.