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ILUKA RESOURCES LIMITED

ASX: ILU

The data on Australian Shares.com is intended as a guide only and is compiled from information in the public domain. Data on this website should not be used to make an investment or trading decision.

Description

Iluka Resources Limited (ASX code: ILU) is an Australia listed ASX 100 company. Iluka has 418.7 million shares on issue. The company is involved in the exploration, project development, operation and marketing of mineral sands products. Iluka is the world’s largest producer of zircon, with a market share of approximately one third. It is the second largest producer of titanium dioxide minerals, and within this sector the largest global producer of the higher value titanium dioxide products of rutile and synthetic rutile (upgraded ilmenite).

Iluka’s operations are based in Australia, with mining and processing operations in Victoria; mining operations in South Australia, as well as processing and ilmenite upgrading operations in Western Australia. The company also has mining and processing operations in Virginia, in the United States. The company has a major exploration tenement holding in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Iluka maintains a global prospectivity model for potential areas of mineral sands exploration.

Iluka also owns a “life of mine” royalty over sales revenue from iron ore produced from specific tenements within BHP Billiton's Mining Area C (MAC) province in the north west of Western Australia.

The main mineral sands products of rutile, synthetic rutile, ilmenite and zircon have a wide range of consumer, lifestyle and industrial applications: pigment production used in paints, plastics, papers, titanium metal production, welding electrodes, floor and wall tiles, sanitary ware, zirconium based chemicals and zirconia metal applications.

Exploration

Exploration is a key component of shareholder value generation in Iluka and represents a significant investment commitment. Exploration involves securing tenements and mining leases, drilling, geological resource modelling and evaluation work throughout South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as the identification and securing of appropriate international exploration opportunities. Regional and basin scale exploration strategies are designed to identify opportunities and locate high value heavy mineral strands and dunal deposits. In this regard, a major focus for Iluka is on its greenfields exploration activities.

Greenfields exploration is designed to identify new resources within the company's extensive tenement holdings in the Murray Basin (Victoria/New South Wales) as well as the Eucla Basin (South Australia/Western Australia). Iluka has current tenement holdings of more than 90 thousand square kilometres across Australia.

Brownfiel exploration activities are designed to extend the economic life or throughput at existing mining operations, thereby efficiently utilising existing infrastructure. This activity also attempts to ensure the sequencing of Mineral Resources to Ore Reserves to support mine planning and market supply forecasts. Activities in this regard are conducted in the Murray Basin (Victoria and New South Wales), and in the South West of Western Australia to support planned mine developments.

Exploration also has a major focus on delineating Mineral Resources as part of the commercial evaluation process for new developments which can then, following detailed feasibility studies, result in Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, which are reported in accordance with the JORC Code, 2004. A project generation stream, which involves desk top conceptual studies and new province reconnaissance work, is designed to identify and generate new, high value mineral sands growth opportunities both in Australia and internationally.

Eucla Basin, South Australia

Iluka conducts mining and processing operations at the Jacinth-Ambrosia mine site in South Australia. Jacinth-Ambrosia is the largest, highest assemblage zircon development globally for several decades. Comprising two contiguous deposits, Jacinth and Ambrosia are located in the Eucla Basin of South Australia, approximately 800kms from the capital city of South Australia, Adelaide and 200kms from the Port of Thevenard near the township of Ceduna. Full production and ramp up occurred by mid 2010.

Jacinth-Ambrosia is capable of supplying (at 2009 rates) approximately 25% of global zircon supply, producing approximately 300 thousand tonnes of zircon in its initial years of production. The deposits are expected to produce approximately 2.8 million tonnes of zircon, 350 thousand tonnes of high titanium dioxide, mainly rutile and approximately 1.5 million tonnes of ilmenite over its expected economic life. Jacinth-Ambrosia is expected to have an economic life of at least 10 years (through to at least 2021). A major part of Iluka’s current exploration effort is focussed upon additional resource discoveries in the Eucla Basin.

Iluka has developed Jacinth-Ambrosia in a capital efficient manner, producing heavy mineral concentrate on site in South Australia and then transporting this material to its existing mineral processing plant in Western Australia, for the production of final products. In this manner project capital and execution risk were reduced. Jacinth-Ambrosia was developed and in production in five years from discovery, a record for a remote resource development in Australia. The main product produced from Jacinth-Ambrosia - zircon - is used in the manufacture of ceramics, including floor and wall tiles and sanitary ware, as well as in as casting and foundry applications. Zircon is also used for the manufacture of zirconium chemicals, which has a range of derivative applications, including zirconium metal.

Murray Basin, Victoria

The Murray Basin is Iluka’s principal source of rutile production, as well as contributing a major part of the company’s zircon production stream. Iluka’s current Murray Basin operations involve mining and concentrating activities in southern Victoria at Douglas and with a satellite ore deposit being mined, referred to as Echo. Heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) is processed at Iluka’s mineral separation plant at Hamilton.

Murray Basin Stage 2 operations accesses central and northern deposits, initially in Victoria but extending into New South Wales. The first of these to be developed is Kulwin which achieved name plate production in mid 2010. Concentrate from Kulwin is transported to Hamilton for processing into final product.

Subsequent mining operations are planned at further deposits referred to Woornack, Rownack and Pirro in Victoria; at the Euston deposits extending into New South Wales and the large West Balranald deposit. Rutile comprises a significantly higher proportion of the mineral assemblage in deposits in the northern part of the Basin.

Perth Basin Mid West, Western Australia

Iluka’s Mid West operations consist of processing and upgrading facilities located to the north of Perth, Western Australia. Mining operations in the Mid West, predominantly at Eneabba, were idled in 2009 and in 2010 associated with name plate production of heavy mineral concentrate being achieved from the Jacinth-Ambrosia operation in South Australia, which is now the major concentrate feed source for the Narngulu mineral separation plant, near Geraldton.

The Narngulu mineral processing facilities are located 10kms from the Port of Geraldton. These facilities were upgraded in 2009 and 2010 to accept Jacinth-Ambrosia heavy mineral concentrate.

Iluka also upgrades ilmenite through two coal fired synthetic rutile kilns to produce higher grade titanium products (synthetic rutile) for the export market. Product is predominantly exported through the Port of Geraldton. Iluka has idled a number of its synthetic rutile kilns in the Mid West and South West, based on commercial considerations. This spare capacity is capable of being brought back into production, dependent on pricing outcomes and ilmenite feed source availability.

Perth Basin South West, Western Australia

Iluka's South West operations consist of synthetic rutile upgrading facilities located at Capel, south of Perth, Western Australia. Iluka ceased mining activities during 2009, although plans to commence new mining activities at Tutunup South from mid 2010. At North Capel, Iluka operates two coal fired synthetic rutile kilns, with one of these kilns currently idle due to commercial considerations. Product is predominantly exported through the Port of Bunbury. The South West operations have a number of sites that have previously been mined and are now in rehabilitation and site closure phases. Rehabilitation plans are developed in the early phases of initial mining management plans in consultation with landowners. More than 2,500 hectares from former mines have been rehabilitated with 90% of the land returned to a broad spectrum of agricultural uses.

Virginia, USA

Iluka's Virginia operations commenced in 1997 with the commissioning of the Old Hickory project. Two mines with separate concentrators (Old Hickory, commissioned in 1997 and Concord, commissioned in 2002) produced heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) which was then trucked 20kms to the dry processing plant located at Stony Creek, 69kms south of Richmond.

In December 2007, the Iluka Board approved the development of the Brink deposit. This project involved the establishment of a new mine and relocation of the Old Hickory concentrator, located 48kms to the south. The approved capital expenditure for the Brink project was US$27.5 million and first production from Brink was achieved in April 2009. The Brink deposit is expected to extend the economic life of the Virginia operations to 2016.

The Virginia operations produce chloride ilmenite which is sold predominantly into the domestic United States market as a feed source for the manufacture of pigment. A high quality zircon product is also produced from the mines in Virginia. This is sold throughout the United States, South America and Europe.

Tutunup South, Western Australia

The Tutunup South mineral sands project is currently under development. Tutunup South is located adjacent to Ludlow-Hithergreen Road, approximately 15kms south east of Busselton and 195kms south of Perth. Tutunup South is expected to produce approximately 1.2 million tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate over the life of mine. The heavy mineral concentrate will then be processed at the North Capel site, where it will provide ilmenite feedstock for Iluka's Synthetic Rutile Kiln 2. This project is expected to secure feed for the kiln for 4 to 5 years.

Site works commenced in the fourth quarter of 2010, with a construction phase of approximately nine months with commissioning scheduled for May 2011 and first production mid year 2011. The Tutunup South project will employ a workforce of approximately 130 people during the construction phase and will create 30 full time positions when operational.

Woornack, Rownack and Pirro, Victoria

Iluka proposes to establish the Woornack, Rownack and Pirro mineral sands mine approximately 20kms south east of Ouyen in the Wimmera region of Victoria. The development of the Woornack, Rownack and Pirro (WRP) deposits is the next stage of Iluka’s mining and concentrating operations in the northern Murray Basin. The WRP operations will follow the mining and concentrating activities at Kulwin, which are planned for completion at the end of 2011 to early 2012. WRP will provide a heavy mineral concentrate feedsource to the Hamilton mineral separation plant. Final Board approval for the WRP project development is expected to be sought in the first half of 2011, with first production expected during the first half of 2012.

The proposed ore mining method involves excavating the heavy mineral which is then processed into heavy mineral concentrate. This concentrate is then processed into final product of rutile, zircon and ilmenite at the Hamilton mineral separation plant. Finished products are exported through the Port of Portland.

Mining Area C Iron Ore Royalty

Iluka has a royalty over iron ore produced from specific tenements of BHP Billiton’s Mining Area C (MAC) province in Western Australia. The royalty results from a 1994 restructure of deferred payments owed to Consolidated Goldfields Australia (an RGC entity). MAC is a large iron ore mining area located in the Pilbara region in the north of Western Australia, operated by BHP Billiton. The agreement provides for a revenue-based royalty and production capacity payments consisting of:

* the greater of (i) ongoing quarterly royalty payments of 1.25% of free-on-board sales revenue from the MAC Royalty Area (less all export duties and export taxes), or (ii) A$0.25 per tonne of all ore produced from the MAC Royalty Area in that quarter; and
* a series of one-off payments of A$1 million tonne increase in the annual production level from the MAC Royalty Area during any 12 month period ending 30 June above the previous highest annual production level, paid within 30 days of the relevant amount of production being produced.

Mining commenced at the MAC Royalty Area in 2003. The royalty arrangement from the MAC Royalty Area provides Iluka's shareholders with an exposure to a high quality iron ore reserve base, and the potential for additional capacity payments and ongoing revenue payments, without any exposure to the cost of operations or need to contribute capital for future expansions. Iluka benefits from any increase in iron ore prices and separately from increases in production capacity from the MAC Royalty Area.

Mine For

zircon, titanium, rutile, ilmenite, mineral sands, leucoxene, gold, uranium, iron ore

Location of operation(s)

Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, USA

Australian Basins

Eucla, Murray, Perth

Address

Level 23 , 140 St George's Terrace
PERTH, WA, AUSTRALIA

Phone

+61 8 9360 4700

Email

Website


Last Updated

1/04/2011

 

The data on Australian Shares.com is intended as a guide only and is provided purely as an indication of what information can be found through official announcements. Data on this website should not be used to make an investment or trading decision. All information should be carefully cross-checked against official sources for accuracy. The publisher (Intaanetto Pty Ltd) will not be held liable for any loss arising from the use of this website.

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