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Mine benefits from top-down approach

Jacinth-Ambrosia represents Iluka’s first project in the Eucla Basin, where it holds exploration tenements of approximately 50,000 sq km. The deposit is 270 km from the coastal centre of Ceduna.

Mineral sands were first discovered in 2004 and the Iluka board approved development in May 2008 with construction beginning in July 2008. The decision followed extensive exploration delineation work and feasibility studies.

Project completion and commissioning activities were achieved in November 2009. The project was completed under time, under budget and delivered without lost time injury.

During the initial years of production, Jacinth-Ambrosia mine will produce approximately 300,000 tonnes of Zircon, 45,000 tonnes of rutile and 170,000 tonnes of ilmenite per annum.

Combined resources at the deposit comprised more than 9 mt of heavy mineral sands with more than 4 mt of Zircon and it has a current mine life of 10 years.

The onsite village includes accommodation for 160 people, complete with recreational facilities – pool, tennis and basketball courts and an unsealed airstrip.

Mining and processing at Jacinth-Ambrosia utilises a combination of new, fit-for-purpose equipment, as well as existing assets. The latter included a wet concentrator plant relocated from the company’s US operations.

The dozer-trap mining method is employed at the open-pit operation. Ore is processed into heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) at the on-site wet concentrator plant and then trucked 270 km to Port Thevenard, approximately 3 km south of Ceduna.

Jacinth Ambrosia Mine

The ore is then shipped to the Port of Geraldton and transferred to Iluka’s processing plant at Narngulu, about 15 km from Geraldton, which was expanded as part of the development of Jacinth-Ambrosia.

Jacinth-Ambrosia produces a premium-grade Zircon displaying opacifier qualities, making it suitable for ceramic applications. The rutile and ilmenite product streams will be marketed for welding and other titanium-based applications.

The project could be divided into services (with 84 per cent spent in South Australia and 16 per cent other) and materials (with 60 per cent spent in South Australia and 40 per cent other). The main boost to local businesses and employment through its expenditure occurred during the project’s development phase in 2008-2009.

During the construction phase of the project, local contractors were selected from Eyre Peninsula to carry out works such as electrical, plumbing, steel fabrication and earthmoving. Iluka partnered with LE80JV for the electrical and automation portion.

A joint venture was formed in 2004 between LogiCamms and Electro80 to focus on large electrical and control systems projects in the resource sector.

LE80JV is a 50/50 joint venture between two of Australia’s largest, most experienced vendor independent system integrators, the ASX-listed LogiCamms and Electro80, a Division of Automation Partners. The venture has over three hundred professional engineers and 100 years of combined corporate experience.

Since its inception, the LE80JV has completed a number of major projects and has supplied approximately $50 million of professional services and equipment including several hundred thousand hours of professional engineering services.

Formed specifically to focus on the implementation of large scale control systems projects in the resource sector, the joint venture provides a compelling service offer. It also satisfies the joint venture partners’ aim of undertaking large projects whilst continuing to supply a high level of service to their respective existing client base.

The strength of the LogiCamms Electro80 Joint Venture (LE80JV) comes from its capacity to work closely with its clients providing engineering services throughout the entire development and the execution phase of large projects. This support is actively continued through the operational lifespan of the plant.

The LE80JV was the EPCM provider of electrical, instrumentation, control and communications systems to Iluka Resources at its Jacinth-Ambrosia project. LE80JV was involved in all stages of the project, from the definitive feasibility study through engineering design, procurement, site construction, commissioning and production ramp up.

LE80JV use a top down methodology which emphasises the formal documentation of system functionality, including test cases and test records, prior to detailed design. This methodology recognises that whilst quality implementation is important, identification and proper interpretation of process requirements is paramount.

A key factor in the success of the Jacinth-Ambrosia project was LE80JV’s experience in the automated production of electrical drawings using the Promis*e software package.

The use of this tool and others assisted the engineering team to meet the tight project deadlines.
Additionally the system simulation, rigorous internal software testing, validation and customer integration testing reduced the system commissioning phase on site.

[Cedric Brown is General Manager, LE80JV.]

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