DRONE: Bundaberg Port. (Photo taken 30 March 2020)
DRONE: Bundaberg Port. (Photo taken 30 March 2020)

Block of land secured at port as mine documents progress

THE exploration of ilmenite in the region is slowly but surely gaining momentum.

After working to finalise an investment agreement for the Wateranga Project since the start of the year, High Titanium Resources and Technology Limited director David Li stating they were “really close to execution of the final document”.

The project, 80km southwest of Bundaberg, is set to mine ilmenite before developing into a multi-product project producing zircon, rutile and magnetite.

Once extracted the ilmenite will be exported from the Port of Bundaberg.

Mr Li said HTL had secured 10,000m2 block of land for future storage with “DA approved”.

“We know the Port of Bundaberg is going to have common user facilities upgrade, including a new conveyer system that could bring HTL better service with better cost,” he said.

While land with the project has been progressing in some areas, Mr Li said in light of the COVID-19 border restrictions their plans had been impacted.

“We were requested by investors to conduct site inspection and sampling but we could not do it under the COVID-19 situation, which delayed progress,” he said.

While the initial expectation was to have the first shipment available by the second quarter of next year, that has slightly changed in the wake of recent events.

If the coronavirus pandemic could be eased gradually with things getting back to normal from the second half of this year, he said the third quarter of 2021 would be their optimistic estimation of first shipment.

Mr Li said their focus for the rest of this year was on finalising capital of the project and confirming EPCM details, then start disturbing the land after completing necessary preparation works.

He said they were still investigating the potential impacts the lowering of Paradise Dam might have on the project and have not received solid confirmation about if it would impact the project or to what extent it would affect them.

The News-Mail previously reported, 800Ml of water a year would be needed for the extraction process.

The whole tenement of HTL’s Wateranga Project was 77.6sq km, with the mining lease granted on the “Central” area, which is 15sq km.

Mr Li previously said the mine life of Central area was 15 years, while lifespan of the whole project is estimated at 30-40 years, this includes the development of Northern and Southern areas of the project.