GOONDICUM INDUSTRIAL MINERALS PROJECT OFFICIALLY OPENED
The industrial minerals project of Monto Minerals Limited ('Monto or
the 'Company') at Goondicum in central Queensland was officially
The multi-product project has been developed to produce ilmenite (for
paint, paper and plastic pigment), glass feldspar (for glass
manufacture), ground feldspar (for paint and powder coating), apatite
(for organic fertiliser) and titanomagnetite (for coal washing) for
Australian and international markets.
The Mayor of Monto Shire, Councillor Warren McLachlan, and the Mayor
of Perry Shire, Councillor Joy Jensen, jointly officially opened the
Monto Minerals' first development, the Goondicum project is in
production and began sales deliveries of apatite to a domestic
fertiliser production company last month. Export sales of ilmenite
and the domestic delivery of glass feldspar are expected to commence
before the end of the year. Sales of titanomagnetite to the large
coal mining industry are planned for next year. Sales of the high
value ground feldspar are under discussion with potential European
and US customers.
Mine development and construction of the processing plant are
completed at Goondicum, while a washing plant at Dakiel, 25km from
Goondicum, to upgrade the feldspar prior to sale is approaching
Stockpiles of ilmenite, feldspar, apatite and titanomagnetite have
been established at Goondicum and production rates are being
increased gradually. Once full production for the initial project is
achieved, the company will proceed with planned expansion in 2008/09.
At the official opening ceremony Monto's Chairman, Mr Peter Slaughter
and Managing Director Mr Geoff Moore gave the following speeches:
The Mayor of Monto Shire Councillor Warren McLachlan, the Mayor of
Perry Shire Councillor Joy Jensen, representatives of the traditional
owners, Mrs Campbell and Robbie Campbell landowners of Goondicum
Pastoral Company, my colleagues on the board of Monto Minerals,
ladies and gentlemen -
I have spent my entire working life in the mining industry, and
nothing has given me more pleasure than this occasion, the official
opening of the Goondicum Industrial Minerals Project.
Monto Minerals was established in 1994 to develop this extraordinary
mineral resource here at the Goondicum Crater. For the last five
years, it has been my great privilege to have chaired the board of
Monto Minerals as the strategy to develop the project's multiple
products - ilmenite, feldspar, apatite, and titanomagnetite - was
devised and implemented.
We are here today to celebrate the end of one 13-year journey and to
look forward to the achievement of a significant commercial
undertaking that will provide enduring value to shareholders,
employees and the community in which it is located.
Developing any mining project requires a huge amount of effort,
tenacity and commitment. Of course, some projects prove more complex
and take longer than others to bring into production, and Goondicum
has certainly tested the fortitude and ingenuity of many people. But
let me say that we aren't resting on the good work done at Goondicum;
Geoff and his team are already exploring ways to develop part of our
Eulogie Park prospect to complement titanomagnetite production from
Goondicum; we are working with a group who has proven expertise in
this area, Mineral Innovations
I would like to start at the beginning by acknowledging the
discoverers of the deposit Laurie Johnson and John Goody, and Laurie
as the founder of Monto Minerals and former Managing Director.
Laurie had the vision and the energy to establish and drive the
company in its early years.
With him were several crucially important early investors and
supporters, and I would like to acknowledge Terry Morris who also
served as a director and Chairman, Lewis Johnson and Dr Philip Wright
who also served as an alternate director and whose expert advice was
invaluable, and, more recently, Ian McCauley, John Rawlins and Gordon
Hart who continues to provide valued counsel on financial markets.
This is a $70 million project which has required substantial
investment, and it is important to acknowledge the support of Ambrian
Partners Limited in raising the necessary funds in the United
Kingdom. We welcome today from Ambrian Mr Richard Brown
Projects such as Goondicum require the support of governments, and I
would like to recognise in particular the role of local government.
Warren McLachlan, the Mayor of Monto Shire, worked tirelessly to
facilitate the project and provided much timely advice. I would
like to extend similar sincere thanks and acknowledgement to Joy
Jensen, the Mayor of Perry Shire.
Monto Minerals is fortunate to have a strong board and executive
group. As Managing Director and CEO, Geoff Moore leads the excellent
executive group and newly assembled team of employees. Geoff and I
have worked together at the company for more than five years,
devising the strategy and planning and implementing the development
of the project, and I have come to appreciate his exceptional
abilities without which we undoubtedly would not be here today. I
would like to acknowledge the contributions of directors Peter
Dowling (who retired from the board today), Richard Cottee, Peter
Freeman, Chris Barrington and Mark McCauley who only recently joined
Ladies and gentlemen, Monto Minerals was established as a potential
producer of ilmenite and has broadened into a producer of multiple
industrial minerals. Looking forward, ilmenite will play a very
important part in the company's future, fulfilling strong
international demand for sulphateable ilmenite in the pigment
manufacturing industries of Asia and Europe. At the same time, the
project's initial production of apatite is fully sold, sales of glass
feldspar are already committed, ground feldspar clearly has strong
potential as a high value product, and we are very confident about
the market locally for titanomagnetite in the nearby coal industry.
Last month we made our first commercial sale of apatite and I am
pleased to say our first truckloads of ilmenite will be hauled to
Gladstone Port today.
On this landmark occasion, the official opening of the Goondicum
Project, everyone who has had a role in the development of Monto
Minerals can be pleased with the outlook for its commercial success.
I have already mentioned one person who has played a long and
important part in the life of our company. Peter Dowling retired
from the board of Monto Minerals today after eight years' dedicated
service to the company. He brought to the deliberations of the board
his expertise as an accountant and his experience as an established
company director. Shareholders have benefited greatly from his
vision and persistence applied over a long period of time as the
company moved from the difficult strategy formulation stage into
project development and now production. As Deputy Chairman for much
of his time on the board, Peter provided me with greatly valued
support and advice.
We are fortunate that Peter has agreed to remain a member of the
audit committee for another year, and to chair the committee until a
new Chairman is selected.
And so, my final, very pleasant duty today is to thank Peter, on
behalf of shareholders, and all stakeholders in Monto Minerals and
the Goondicum Project, to wish him well in his future endeavours, and
to present him with this lasting memento of our appreciation.
The Goondicum Project is a significant development in the economic
and social life of this region, and we are fortunate to have the
Monto and Perry Shires to deal with. Warren, and Joy, you and your
colleagues have helped to facilitate this valuable project while
taking care to protect the interests of your constituents so that the
best outcome is achieved. Thank you for your continuing support.
Before I ask Warren and Joy to formally open the mine I would like to
make a few comments.
Firstly I want to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land the
Bunya Wakka and Wakka Wakka people represented by Kevin Doolan, and
the Port Curtis Coral Coast people represented by Lyndsay Collins,
the landowners of Goondicum Pastoral Company, Rosanne and Robbie
Campbell, and Leigh Benecke at Dakiel, and those landowners who
granted easements for the pipe line and the power line. I think we
should remember that while there are considerable benefits for the
Monto and Mt Perry regions and for the many people with new jobs and
new contracts on the operations, those benefits come at some cost in
impacts on the landowners.
Mrs Rosanne Campbell has kindly donated some trees for planting above
the processing plant as a gesture to the long term rehabilitation of
the mine. We will plant them in the near future.
Mineral deposits are created by the forces of nature and we have no
control over their geographic location as Rosanne Campbell will
reluctantly agree. However mines are created by the force of human
As Peter Slaughter has said, today marks the completion of a long
journey and the beginning of another exciting journey. Many people
have contributed to the achievement we are celebrating today.
Prominent among them is Peter himself. Having worked with him
closely over the last five years I know how much credit is due to him
for his sheer tenacity through some difficult periods, and, in
particular, his role in the ultimately successful funding that has
made all this possible.
In the interests of time, but with equal sincerity, let me endorse
Peter's acknowledgement of the discoverers of the deposit and
founders of the Company Laurie Johnson and John Goody.
There are other people who should be mentioned, and it is important
to do so, even if I run the risk of leaving some out, for which I
First, Phil McMurtrie, the Project Manager, and the team of employees
and contractors who have built the Goondicum Project, and in
particular the metallurgical magicians Les Murphy and Bob Graves.
Phil is a long standing member of the Monto Minerals management group
and he has worked tirelessly to make it all happen. The management
team of Chief Financial Officer Gayle Brown, Marketing Manager Hugh
Babbage, and Financial Controller and Company Secretary, Daniel Huff
have been dedicated in their support to complement the creation of
the operation. Anne Rycroft in Brisbane and Leeanne Whitcher and
Robin Harth in Monto have been responsible for the efficient
coordination of the myriad arrangements for today. I think Robin is
also due special mention. Last week marked his fourth anniversary
full time on the project, but more challenging for two of those years
he camped on the site as caretaker after completion of the pilot
plant with only a satellite TV for company!
I want to thank some investors who helped us at particularly critical
points in our tortuous corporate journey. Stephen Dunn and Sentient,
Tom Dobell from M&G, John Rawlins, Ian McCauley, Terry Morris, Lewis
Johnson and Jim Gorman and Ambrian our UK Brokers. I also acknowledge
the personal input and many sleepless nights Gordon Hart has invested
in Monto Minerals.
The EPCM contractor on the construction project has been R J
Robbins. I would like to acknowledge the Reg and Matt Robbins.
Significantly, the project is being completed within budget, which is
a notable achievement in the current economic environment.
SunWater have managed construction of the water pipe line and are now
reliably supplying water to the mine despite some considerable
challenges with leaking pipes.
Three weeks ago, an important milestone was reached when the first
delivery of product was made. It was a consignment of apatite to
Ausmin Australia, the successful and growing Australian fertiliser
company. Ausmin is planning for a phosphate fertiliser plant at
Dakiel, and we look forward to scaling up deliveries there in the
coming months. I am very pleased to acknowledge Mike McCosker and
Mark MacNamee from Ausmin and I refer any farmers here to their
brochure in your showbags.
I am also pleased to say that our first truckload of ilmenite will be
loaded today for haulage to Gladstone Port and stockpiled for the
first shipment in January to customers in South Korea and Japan.
We will begin supplying feldspar after the washing plant at Dakiel is
completed this month.
We are here to celebrate the achievement of an important goal. But as
we look to the future and one of providing value to the shareholders,
to the customers and to employees and businesses in the Monto and Mt
Perry region. we must also strive to be responsible citizens and good
neighbours in the area.
It is now my great pleasure to invite Mayors Warren and Joy to
officially open the Goondicum Industrial Minerals Project.
| Geoffrey Moore | |
| Monto Minerals Ltd | +61 7 3034 3100 |
| | |
| Richard Brown | +44 (0) 20 7776 6417 |
| Ambrian Partners Limited | |
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