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Explosives plant on track

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The development of Yara International's ammonium nitrate plant on the Burrup Peninsula is running to plan.

The joint venture operation, run with Orica and Apache, is expected to begin producing around 330 000 tonnes of AN annually by mid 2015.

Yara will be the operator of the plant while Orica will manage sales and distribution.

Site preparation works at the plant began in November last year.

The plant is being built directly across from the existing Yara Pilbara Fertilisers ammonia facility, which will provide the production inputs for the ammonium nitrate.

“This allows us to further value add to the existing downstream process with a portion of the existing ammonia product being utilised to produce technical ammonium nitrate for the local mining sector from 2015," Yara Pilbara Nitrates CEO Mark Loquan said.

Yara had previously sought to construct an ammonium nitrate plant in the region through a joint venture with Burrup Nitrates.

However former joint venture partner Burrup attempted to block the plant, with owner Pankaj Oswal stating that "Yara has attempted to railroad me into agreeing to commence the development of the technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) plant immediately on terms proposed by Yara without consultation with me and based on inaccurate, out-of-date and inadequate information".

Loquan said the work for the new explosives plant is currently at the halfway mark, according to the ABC.

"If you look at it from an overall perspective we are about at the halfway point in terms of the whole overall progress but when you look at the site and the construction itself you will start to see modules coming in from this month and it will continue for the next year like that," he said.

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