World’s second largest ilmenite operation to start Sri Lanka

Beach Minerals

Sep 10 2016


World’s largest Zircon producer Iluka Resources Limited revealed on Tuesday in Colombo that it was planning to commence one of the largest mineral extraction operations in Sri Lanka from 2019.

“Once we clear the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) we would like to start immediately since we want the proposed operation fast-tracked” said an upbeat Head of Resource Development of Australia based Iluka Resources Limited Simon Hay.

Iluka’s Hay expressed these views during his meeting with Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen joined by Iluka’s Sri Lanka Country Manager Robert M Tyler and General Manager Major Projects and Engineering at Iluka Resources Mr Gavin Swart.

Iluka Resources is based in Perth, Australia and is the largest zircon producer, supplying around one-third of world’s zircon volumes.

“We would like to accelerate our proposed project in Puttalam. We will invest a very significant amount in this project. Our initial investment alone is more than $540 million. The project will give direct employment to 500, and another 2500 indirect jobs. This large scale project in Puttalam can enhance Sri Lanka’s overall mineral industry profile.”

“After we commence production, we expect to supply no less than 700,000 tonnes ilmenite per year to the world’s four million tonne strong total supply-around 17% of total supply. This means Iluka’s Puttalam ilmenite operation will be only second to world’s largest ilmenite operation by Kenmare Resources in Mozambique.”

“In short, Iluka is ready to commence world’s second largest ilmenite operation in Puttalam by 2019. The proposed Puttalam operation is not really a short term project but a long term project-with a time span of 40 years.”

Minister Bathiudeen welcomed Iluka’s initiatives in Sri Lanka and said, “Iluka’s entry will no doubt enhance our mineral industry profile and boost it while supporting the industry reforms and FDI calls of our Unity government.”

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