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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Australasia: August 8th 2011


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:: BHP Billiton Approves GEMCO Phase 2 Expansion

BHP Billiton has announced that the partners in Samancor Manganese have approved the second expansion of the GEMCO operation in the Northern Territory of Australia. This follows the successful commissioning of the GEMCO Expansion Phase 1 (GEEP1) project in April 2009.

The US$279 million GEEP2 project (BHP Billiton's 60 per cent share US$167 million) will increase GEMCO's beneficiated product capacity from 4.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 4.8 mtpa through the introduction of a dense media circuit by-pass facility. The project is expected to be completed in late calendar year 2013.

The expansion will also address infrastructure constraints by increasing road and port capacity to 5.9 mtpa, creating 1.1 mtpa of latent capacity for future expansions.

BHP Billiton Manganese President, Tom Schutte, said: "The first phase expansion confirmed GEMCO's status as the world's largest and lowest cost producer of manganese ore. This second expansion will further enhance GEMCO's competitive advantages and create additional options for growth."



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