[miningmx.com] — Diversified mining group Exxaro announced on Wednesday that the Tiwest Joint Venture (JV) partners – itself and Tronox
Incorporated – have successfully commissioned the Tiwest Kwinana titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment plant expansion project and is ready to commence production and ramp-up of the expanded plant.
The Tiwest 50:50 JV is the world’s largest integrated titanium minerals production and manufacturing company. Established in 1988, Tiwest operates in Western Australia.
Its facilities include the Cooljarloo mineral sands mine, the Chandala synthetic
rutile plant and the Kwinana TiO2 pigment plant. Tiwest’s success has been built on the development of high quality mineral reserves and the application of sophisticated process technology.
Exxarro said in a statement that the expansion will increase the plant’s
production by approximately 40ktpa to a total capacity of approximately 150ktpa TiO2.
The expanded plant is expected to ramp-up to planned production levels by mid 2011. With the continued strong demand for pigment from Asia Pacific, the expansion allows Tiwest to further increase its presence in this fast growing market.
Exxaro CEO Sipho Nkosi said he was delighted with this important development
which, combined with the strong demand from the Asia Pacific region, could potentially further increase the profitability of Exxaro’s Australian mineral sands operations.
Nkosi paid tribute to the efforts of employees and contractors involved in the
expansion and noted that the expansion forms part of Exxaro’s strategy of downstream value adding in the Group’s mineral sands operations.
Tronox CEO Dennis Wanlass congratulated the Kwinana management and employees for an exceptional job in bringing the expansion on line safely and in time to meet the increasing demand of the Asia Pacific and other global customers. This expansion, combined with recent changes to Tronox’s production portfolio, positions Tronox as a preferred global supplier of chloride process TiO2.