Balranald critical minerals development, Australia

Image of mounds of rare earths

12th May 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Balranald critical minerals development.

Riverina district of south-western New South Wales, in Australia.

Project Owner/s
Iluka Resources.

Project Description
The Balranald development is focused on the rutile- and zircon-rich West Balranald deposit, which also contains material quantities of rare-earth minerals.

The project envisages average production of 60 000 t/y of rutile, 50 000 t/y of zircon, 50 000 to 70 000 t/y of synthetic rutile, 4 000 t/y rare-earth concentrate and 150 000 t/y of sulphate ilmenite over an initial 9.5-year mine life.

Iluka plans to use its underground mining technology, which is akin to keyhole surgery, for the mining of critical minerals.

Appropriate processing equipment has been selected for the various process functions.

The final design is for a modular wet concentrator plant, including the rougher head feed, oversize removal, spiral circuits, flotation plant, magnetic separation and up-current classifier.

Other items of process plant and nonprocess infrastructure include product stacking, rougher head feed stockpiling and reclaiming, tails thickening, fines and iron sulphide storage dams, reagent storage and distribution, water supply, storage, distribution and wastewater treatment, power supply and distribution, instrumentation and controls, IT and communications, and service buildings such as laboratory, warehouse, workshops and office amenities.

Potential Job Creation
The project is expected to create 250 jobs during construction and 270 jobs.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an estimated net present value of $400-million and an internal rate of return of 23%, with a payback of three years.

Capital Expenditure

Planned Start/End Date
First production is expected in first half of 2025.

Latest Developments
Iluka made a final investment decision on the project in February 2023.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Iluka Resources, tel + 61 477 749 942 or email

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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