Work on an $8 billion ilmenite mine in the Northern Territory has been put on hold, with first ore not expected until early next year.
The SILL80 project, owned by Australian Ilmenite Resources, is ‘on a break’ pending the development of another return water pit at the site, ABC reported.
The company’s director Jerry Ren said more will be known about the future of the mine next week, after negotiations with business interests are completed.
The project, located 105km east of Mataranka, had aimed to produce 300,000 tonnes of ilmenite per year and employ 30 people, with first ore initially expected for export in April.
Exports are now expected to begin early next year.
AIR has exploration licences that cover around 14,000sqkm and the company said it had only explored around ten per cent of the holdings.
The ore is expected to be exported to Asia and the United States for use in the production of paper, paint, and plastic.