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Austpac Resources N.L. is a minerals technology company which has developed new commercial processes for the titanium, steel and iron ore industries. Austpac is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX Code: APG).

3,000 tpa ERMS SR Demonstration Plant

Austpac’s technologies, collectively termed the “ERMS SR” process, were proven at a newly constructed 3,000 tpa Demonstration Plant during 2008. The showcasing of the relevant technologies at the Plant, including ilmenite roasting, synthetic rutile production, EARS acid regeneration, the continuous leach reactor (CLR) and the direct reduction of iron oxides to iron pellets (DRI), was a major achievement that has allowed the Company to move into commercialisation. Austpac has now proved the world’s only fully continuous synrutile process that produces ultra high grade synthetic rutile and an iron co-product. Operations at the plant also proved the ability of the EARS to regenerate acid from spent pickle liquor (a waste created in finishing some steel products), and of the DRI process to produce iron metal pellets from iron ore fines, thus widening the commercial applications for the Company’s technologies. The 3,000 tpa Demonstration Plant has proven the technologies under continuous commercial conditions.

The Newcastle EARS Project

The EARS section of the Newcastle Demonstration Plant has the capacity to process 13,000 tonnes per year of spent chloride liquors, which is sufficient to process the wastes from a medium-sized steel pickling plant. During 2008, Austpac proved the EARS process at the Demonstration Plant, and is planning to operate the EARS section in 2009 on a commercial scale to treat waste from the steel industry.

60,000 tpa ERMS SR Synrutile Plant

Austpac’s program at the Newcastle Plant was designed to lead to a full bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the first commercial ERMS SR synrutile plant.

The main purpose of the Demonstration Plant is to provide data for detailed engineering design and costing for a 60,000 tpa commercial ERMS SR synrutile plant. Austpac intends to commercialise the ERMS SR technology by building a 60,000 tpa synrutile plant in Eastern Australia, subject to the completion of a BFS. This is an acceptable 20 times scale up from the Newcastle Demonstration Plant. The first stage of the BFS is an external engineering study to establish capital and operating costs. Data from last year’s operations at the Demonstration Plant is being collated in-house prior to commencing this study.

Discussions are progressing with potential suppliers of raw materials such as ilmenite and coal, for the proposed 60,000 tpa plant in Eastern Australia, and contracts for future supply will be negotiated as appropriate with various groups. Preliminary enquiries are also being made into transport and infrastructure suitability (road, rail, power, port and shipping), and arrangements will be finalised when the site for the proposed plant in Eastern Australia has been selected.

It is also expected that the exhaustive testing of the bulk ERMS SR synrutile being undertaken by international groups will lead to future sales arrangements for all synrutile produced by the commercial plant. It is anticipated that the Austpac DRI product will be sold to Australian steel makers.

WIM150 Mineral Sands Project

Austpac acquired Exploration Licence 4521 at Horsham in Victoria in 2000. The tenement contains the very large, fine grained WIM150 heavy mineral deposit. Previous drilling had outlined a resource of 452 million tonnes averaging 5.9% heavy minerals and containing 12.5 million tonnes of titanium minerals, together with 5 million tonnes of zircon. Austpac has conducted pilot plant trials on WIM150 ilmenite and has produced a very fine grained synrutile containing >95% TiO2. Austpac also developed a process to agglomerate fine minerals to make this product commercially acceptable. However the Company decided to concentrate on developing its core technologies, and in 2004, farmed WIM150 out to Southern Titanium N.L. (now Australian Zircon N.L.) who conducted mineral processing work, drilling and a prefeasibility study.

In April 2008, Australian Zircon committed to proceed with the first stage of a Bankable Feasibility Study into the WIM150 zircon and titanium mineral resource. Their test work has shown that conventional feed preparation techniques (scrubber, trommel and cyclones) and special (fine grain size) spirals will successfully recover 85 – 90% of raw feed zircon to an acceptable grade heavy mineral concentrate. A hydrogeological study commenced in the first quarter of 2009 to identify a suitable source of water for mineral processing applications. Drilling commenced in April 2009 to evaluate the stratigraphy of an area east of WIM150 and to establish water level monitoring bores. A full Bankable Feasibility Study will examine appropriate methods for further treatment of the concentrate, including the option of transporting HMC to Australian Zircon’s existing mineral separation plant at Mindarie. Upon completion of a full Bankable Feasibility Study, Australian Zircon will earn an 80% interest in the WIM150 resource.

Mine For

titanium, zircon, synrutile

Location of operation(s)



Level 3 , 62 Pitt Street


02 9252 2599



Last Updated



The data on Australian 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.