Monto mine's first load of minerals heads off

MINING MAN: Goondicum mine site manager Wicky Moffat Photo George Smith/ Central & North Burnett Times
MINING MAN: Goondicum mine site manager Wicky Moffat Photo George Smith/ Central & North Burnett Times George Smith

THE first ilmenite shipment from Monto's Belridge Goondicum mine was loaded for export at Gladstone on Wednesday.

The first shipment of 6500 tonnes is bound for South Korea and the next shipment of 8000 tonnes is due out on November 20 to Japan.

The mine is 50km north east of the town and started production on August 2.

Deputy premier and Member for Callide Jeff Seeney said he was grateful for the Belridge effort to create opportunities for Monto.

"This is great for the region," Mr Seeney said.

"It may be small in mining terms, but it's a huge boost to the local economy.

"We as a government will do what we can to facilitate projects that boost the local economy," he said. "Monto is a small community and the addition of these jobs will make a big contribution to the area's economy.

"The town suffered badly when the mine closed and everyone in the district is hoping the re-opened mine will be successful.

"This first export shipment from the mine indicates there is every likelihood of that."

Mine site manager Wicky Moffatt said it was now a matter of waiting for customers to be happy.

"We anticipate exporting 7000 tonnes every month, mainly to Japan, and the mine is expected to have a life of around 25 years," Mr Moffatt said.

"At this stage it is difficult to say if we will expand but an additional source of revenue is the phosphorus based apatite, one of the by-products of ilmenite which is currently being sold to a fertiliser company in New South Wales.

"Any expansion of our business has to be good for the town as all our employees live locally and will spend their money with local businesses."

Mine facts

Ilmenite is used for paint fillers, welding rods and pharmaceutical products.

The product is transported by road from mine to port and the company pays a road levy.

Goondicum employs 36 people and uses local contractors.

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