Regions Central Virginia

Australian company plans Dinwiddie County mining operation

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An Australian company, Iluka Resources Ltd., plans to develop a $120 million mining operation in Dinwiddie County that will create 86 jobs.

The proposed project, which still must be approved by regulators and the Iluka board, would include a $67 million investment in machinery and equipment to create a mining and concentration operation. Additional development costs are expected to bring the total cost of the project to $120 million.

The project is expected to create 86 positions with payroll impact of more than $34 million over the next 11 years.

Iluka has operated in Virginia since 1997 and currently has facilities in Greenville and Sussex counties.

The Dinwiddie site will be in the old Hickory part of the county, 12 miles from Iluka's Stony Creek operation in Sussex County.

At the new site, Iluka would extract and concentrate titanium and zircon minerals.

“We appreciate the quick and thorough responses that have been provided by the elected and regulatory officials while we have conducted our due diligence,” Matthew Blackwell, the president and general manager of Iluka’s U.S. operations, said in a statement. “To date the company has committed approximately $20 million to this project. We are confident that working together, we can clear the final hurdles that must be addressed to ensure this project comes to fruition.”

Virginia competed with North Carolina for the project. State incentives include a $300,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program and $525,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.

Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance also will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment, training and retraining activities.

Iluka is the major producer of zircon globally and the largest producer of high-grade titanium dioxide products of rutile and synthetic rutile.

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