Titanium ore and titanium dioxide producer Tronox has secured approval for its planning application from the Umlalazi Municipality to amend land use rights on its Fairbreeze C extension (FBCX) mining area, from un-zoned to mining.
The FBCX mining area is said to be adjacent to the southern border of the town of Mtunzini and extends to the northern border of the existing FBC lease area.
The company expects to commence mining operations at FBCX area in the second half of 2017, following approvals.
The FBCX ore body is relatively small with a life-of-mine of seven years.
Fairbreeze will use hydraulic mining methods, which eliminate rock blasting and activities that present significant safety or health risks to nearby land owners.
The proposed Fairbreeze layout is considered by South Africa's Mine Health and Safety Regulations as a safe and suitable regulatory limit.
The mine product will consist of heavy mineral concentrate, which will be processed further at the CPC in Empangeni to produce the main products, including rutile, zircon, ilmenite and leucoxene.
Tronox expects the new mine to preserve more than 1,000 permanent and contractor positions, and to generate an additional 1,000 indirect jobs, bringing economic benefits to the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa.
Tronox noted that the development of infrastructure for Fairbreeze, such as a new electric power substation and water pipeline, will also benefit the region.