UKRANIAN BILLIONAIRE TO OPEN CHROMITE MINE IN AUSTRALIA

Coobina chromite mine set to re-open

PETER KLINGER, The West Australian July 29, 2010, 12:46 pm

Gennadiy Bogolyubov
Supplied / Unknown ©

Ukrainian billionaire Gennadiy Bogolyubov is poised to reopen the Coobina chromite mine in the Pilbara, creating 120 jobs for an operation that could generate about 2.5 per cent of the world’s supply of the stainless steel ingredient.

The billionaire, who picked up Coobina as part of his $1.2 billion takeover of Consolidated Minerals in late 2007, expects the resumption of mining at Coobina will cost about $6 million.

Coobina, east of Newman, is Australia’s only chromite mine.

Chromite is a key ingredient in ferrochrome and sought after in stainless steel for its corrosion-resistant characteristics.

The Coobina open pit mine has been on care and maintenance since 2008 when the global financial crisis triggered a collapse in stainless steel production. About 20 people have remained on site to work on the crushing and beneficiation plant, with another 100 needed to support the reopening of the mine by October.

Mr Bogolyubov expects Coobina to produce up to 450,000 tonnes of chromite a year, equivalent to about 2.5 per cent of an annual world supply estimated at 18 million tonnes.

The chromite products – lump, chips and fines ore – will be trucked to Port Hedland for shipping to markets in Asia and Europe.

Coobina’s reopening comes as ConsMin’s main undertaking, the high-grade Woodie Woodie manganese mine about 400km south-east of Port Hedland, prepares for a 25 per cent boost to annual production levels to 1.2 million tonnes.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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