Australian Mining Initiative Maximizes Purity, Minimizes Contaminants

An Australian mining initiative is taking great to maximize purity and minimize contaminants as it prepares to expand garnet mining operations, one of its leaders told a 2024 AMPP AnnualConference + Expo audience Tuesday.

Aaron Williams, non-executive director of Heavy Minerals Ltd., provided the latest on the project in “Heavy Minerals Limited: Port Gregory Garnet Update,” emphasizing efforts to ensure responsible and ethical mining practices.

Almandine garnet is in high demand because of its superior hardness and density and its low friability. Its high-quality surface finish means better coating adhesion, which can lower costs, he said.

Williams said garnet is a preferred blast media for abrasive blasting in:

Military
Engineering/fabrication yards servicing the oil and gas and wind farm industries
Maintenance work in oil and gas, bridges, and marine environments

Garnet is also the only medium used in abrasive waterjet cutting for precision cutting of metal and composites.

The Heavy Minerals Limited Port Gregory Garnet Project, which covers some 40 miles of Western Australia coastline, is considered a globally significant garnet deposit.

Near-term production from the Port Gregory Project is expected to begin in 2026-27 and continue for 16 to 20 years.

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