SA Mines and Energy Journal : February-March 2010
14 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL FEATURE approved in Australia, but Mr Kuchel says it is being hampered by issues between its joint- venture partners. In the mineral sands sector, Mr Kuchel says the world-class Jacinth Ambrosia mine, about 200km north-west of Ceduna, is a standout operation in SA. Iluka Resources, which manages the mine, sent its first shipment of heavy mineral concentrate from Port Thevenard in the closing days of last year. Iluka General Manager Hans Umlauff says the company will concentrate on consolidating the operation this year. The huge Jacinth-Ambrosia mine is in the Eucla Basin, which is home to 40 per cent of the world's known zircon deposits and is expected to have a life of at least 10 years. "We expect to focus our exploration effort north of the Trans Continental railway line in the Maralinga Tjarutja area, along with some brown-fields near- mine exploration planned around Jacinth-Ambrosia, with the intention of extending the mine's life, " Mr Umlauff says. "During 2010 we also expect to progress the feasibility studies for the Tripitaka deposit, 50km north-west of Penong on the Eyre Highway. " When it comes to coal, Mr Kuchel says SA has massive amounts, but its export is restricted by infrastructure and the cost of transport. "Opportunities in SA are about converting the coal in situ or digging it up and converting it into synthetic fuels, " he says. "You can make quite a range of products from coal by processing it on site, which is what Altona and Syngas are planning to do. There's also the same potential in Kingston, in the state's south-east. " English com pany Altona Ironclad is trying to fast-track its iron ore Wilcherry Hill project.