Mineral Commodities begins processing Inland Strands ore at Tormin Mineral Sands Project, South Australia

Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) reports its 50% owned subsidiary Mineral Sands Resources has completed on-water commissioning of its upgraded plant, and has begun processing Inland Strands ore at the Tormin Mineral Sands Project in South Africa.

The company says the primary concentrator plant is performing to expectations with throughputs close to design and the tailings dewatering system components are performing well. The dewatering screen is effectively minimising the moisture content of the coarse tails and the thickener/flocculant system reducing the moisture content of the fines.

Together, the tailings system lowers the water content to the tails to levels below those in Section 102 approvals. Commissioning of a filter to further reduce the moisture content of the thickened slimes has also commenced, with initial tests producing a visibly dry cake.

Commenting on the ore processing, Mineral Commodities interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adam Bick says: “We are very pleased to recommence Inland Strands ore processing with an effective tailings management solution. I would like to commend the MSR (Mineral Sands Resources) commissioning team for their stellar efforts to date and the rapid transition from water commissioning to ore commissioning.

I am sure the whole site team is looking forward to transitioning to continuous Inland Strands ore processing operations, benefiting from the higher grades and allowing the beaches to transition to a sustainable mining method with replenishment every 12 of 24 months.

“We look forward to providing further updates on Inland Strands ore processing, which is the cornerstone of MRC’s (Mineral Commodities) heavy minerals division’s objectives”

We look forward to providing further updates on Inland Strands ore processing, which is the cornerstone of MRC’s (Mineral Commodities) heavy minerals division’s objectives.”

Mineral Commodities reports it is currently focused on optimising performance, and it plans to switch operations on Inland Strands ore to 24 hours per day next week. The company also plans to stop production from the Tormin Beaches to allow them to start replenishing, which Mineral Commodities anticipates will lead to improved beach mined grades into the future.

The company notes Inland Strands production substitutes some annual beach mining. Currently there are 2 Primary Concentrator Plants (PCPs) at site with each having a targeted production rate of 1.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of beach material or 1.2Mtpa of Inland Strands material, and PCP-2 will currently process mined material from the Northern Beaches.

This plant upgrade is also targeted to increase ore processing at Tormin from 2.4Mtpa to 2.7Mtpa.

Mineral Commodities reports the third PCP is also aimed for Inland Strands material, targeting a further increase in ore processing from 2.7Mtpa to 3.9Mtpa. This plant is expected to be in production by the December 2023 quarter.

The company says the production schedule enables ‘sustainable’ beach mining, with beach mining now able to be rotated annually between Tormin Beaches and Northern Beaches production. Mineral Commodities is a global mining and development company focused on producing ‘high-grade’ mineral sands and natural flake graphite from its operations in South Africa and Norway.

Images: Mineral Commodities Ltd
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.