Murray Zircon Pty Ltd is a mineral sands mining company focused on the production of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) in the Murray Basin in South Australia. The Company was formed in June 2011 as a joint venture with majority ownership by Guangdong Orient Zirconic Ind Sci & Tech Co., Ltd. of China.
Murray Zircon’s principal asset is the Mindarie Mineral Sands Project, located 150km east of Adelaide in the Mallee region of South Australia. Operations at Mindarie involved the mining of mineral sands strandlines located on individual Mineral Leases.
HMC product from Mindarie is exported to China where it is separated into various heavy minerals including zircon, ilmenite and rutile. The Company also holds an exploration tenement portfolio covering more than 6,000 km² within the Murray Basin.
Following successful re-commissioning of the Mindarie Project to full name-plate capacity, operations continued successfully through March 2015. Due to continually falling commodity prices throughout this operating period, with the completion of mining at Mindarie C East the project was placed on care and maintenance until such time as mineral sands commodity prices sufficiently rebound.
Guangdong Orient Zirconic Ind Sci & Tech Co., Ltd. (OZC) is headquartered in Shantou in Guangdong Province in southeast China. OZC is one of China’s largest zircon processing and zirconium product manufacturing companies. OZC produces the world’s widest range of zirconium products. It employs over 1,700 people and is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (Code 002167) with a market capitalisation of approximately AU$1.0 billion (Feb 2016).
OZC’s entry into the mining industry in Australia through Murray Zircon is part of OZC’s long-term vertical integration strategy, to secure a supply of zircon and hedge market risk, thus strengthening its status in the industry as an integrated group of companies.