Doral’s Yoongarillup mineral sands mine just outside Busselton is a prime example of what a world-class rehabilitation project should look like.
Rehabilitation activities at Yoongarillup comprise both pastoral and native vegetation restoration. At this stage, approximately 20,000 native seedlings in addition to 25kg of native seed have been planted, with a further 20,000 seedlings planned over the next two years.
The mine, located 17 km southeast of Busselton in Western Australia’s South West region, commenced operations in 2017 and is expected to complete mining by the end of 2020.
Yoongarillup produces approximately 120,000 tonnes per annum of heavy mineral concentrate, consisting of ilmenite and zircon.
Ilmenite is the main source of titanium dioxide, which is used as a white pigment in paints, printing inks, fabrics, plastics, paper, sunscreen, food and cosmetics. It’s no exaggeration to suggest almost everything you see around you that is man-made and white contains titanium dioxide, even the mints in your pocket. Titanium dioxide is non-toxic and biologically inert, which means it can be safely used in foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals.
Zircon is a highly sort-after mineral due to its resistance to high temperatures and abrasion. Zircon is extremely valuable in manufacturing and is used for firebricks, furnace linings and pigments for ceramics. Its opacity and hardness gives a whiteness and durability to tiles, toilets, and tableware.