The 268th Sydney Mining Club – Lunchtime Event
at 12:30 pm on 2 June 2022 at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney
Making the Leap
Iluka adds Rare Earths to its Mineral Sands
Presented by Matthew Blackwell, Head of Major Projects, Sales and Marketing
Formed through the 1998 merger between RGC and Westralian Sands, Iluka Resources is today a $4.2 billion company that has surged into the limelight recently with its move into the rapidly growing rare earths market.
This has evolved Iluka’s market appeal and seen the company enter into a $1.25 billion loan with the Commonwealth Government to build Australia’s first fully integrated refinery at Eneabba. This will put Iluka at the forefront of the rare earth supply chain delivering metals used in high-density magnets of electric vehicles and other sustainable energy technologies.
Traditionally known as the world’s largest in zircon and high-grade titanium dioxide supplier, oxides for the paint on your walls, tiles in your bathroom and screens on your phone. Iluka has mines and processing facilities in Western Australia and South Australia, and owns Sierra Rutile in Sierra Leone, plus a 20% stake in the ASX’s only listed royalty company, Deterra Royalties.
Iluka’s rare earth refinery will be built at Eneabba, about 150 kilometres north of Perth. With production beginning in 2025, this facility will have the capacity to process 55,000tpa of rare earths concentrate. Total rare earths oxide production from the refinery is planned for 17,500tpa, including the high value oxides neodymium, praseodymium dysprosium and terbium.
Closer to home, Iluka is set to enter the NSW mining sector via the company’s Balranald development, which is currently the subject of a definitive feasibility study. Balranald is a rutile-rich deposit that, at a depth of over 50 metres, makes traditional mineral sands mining challenging. Iluka is tight-lipped about a new non-open cut mining method it will use to extract the ore zone depth with reduced environmental impact. Also in NSW, it has the Euston project, a more traditional development at an earlier stage of development that has the potential to further contribute to Iluka’s production of high grade titanium and zircon. Not to be missed!