Mineral Commodities (MRC) has celebrated the official opening of its fully-funded Tormin mineral sands mine project situated on South Africa’s West Coast, where mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu marked the milestone of the first new mineral sands operation to commence in the Western Cape since Namakwa Sands.

“The Tormin mine opening is a major achievement for MRC, an Australian-based company, as the mineral sands project is strongly positioned for significant growth in the South African mining sector. It is set to inject more than R1 billion a year into the Western Cape economy over the next five years,” MRC said in a statement.

The Minister welcomed the investment by the company and the demonstration of sustained confidence in the South African mining industry. “I am also encouraged by the strong presence of local women in technical operations, including geologists and metallurgists at the mine. This shows that women are taking their rightful place in the mainstream economy.”

The mine features a substantial zircon-rich beach resource which also provides ilmenite, rutile and garnet minerals. Minerals sourced at the Tormin mine will be used in the manufacturing of ceramics and in the production of paint, paper and plastic.

“This project is fully funded and under budget. It remains on track to pay back its investment by the end of June 2014, a feat few mining projects anywhere in the world can emulate,” said MRC chief executive Andrew Lashbrooke. “Since the mine developments started in April 2013, we paid particular attention to ensure that we met key objectives on time and under budget to reach today’s milestone.”

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