Mining has been undertaken at two locations, Brink and Concord. The ore, which is an unconsolidated mix of sands, clays and valuable mineral, is mined by excavators and fed into a mobile mining unit. At the mining unit the ore is mixed with water to form a slurry and then pumped via pipeline to the wet concentrator plant.
The Brink and Concord concentrators each have a feed capacity of 254 tonnes per hour and use gravity separation to create a heavy mineral concentrate. The heavy mineral concentrate is transported by road a distance of approximately 53 kilometres (from Brink) and 26 kilometres (from Concord) to the Stony Creek mineral separation plant.
The Stony Creek mineral separation plant receives and blends heavy mineral concentrate at a rate of approximately 475 thousand tonnes per annum from both the Concord and Brink operations. The facility can process the concentrate up to approximately 330 thousand tonnes of chloride ilmenite and 50 thousand tonnes of zircon per annum through a series of slurrying, screening, drying, electrostatic and electromagnetic separation stages. Product is then shipped to domestic US customers via rail and truck (bulk and bag) and via ship (dry bulk, bulk-in-container and bag) for international customers.
Most of the Virginia ilmenite is sold domestically in the United States for the production of titanium dioxide pigment. Virginia zircon is one of the highest quality ceramic opacifiers, making it attractive to high-end ceramic tile and sanitary-ware producers. In addition, low levels of impurities make it sought after as a feedstock for zirconia and refractory producers.
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Iluka and its predecessor companies mined a section of the Duval Upland ridge deposit located in North East Florida from 1972 until the cessation of mining operations in 2005. Since this time, significant progress has been made reclaiming mined lands and rehabilitating the former processing plant site. These activities are likely to continue until late 2016 at which time the focus will shift to maintenance and monitoring of the reclaimed lands and site.
Mining of the Lulaton deposit occurred from early 2004 until mid-2006. The majority of reclamation work was completed by 2010. The site has since been under maintenance and monitoring.