Chandala Processing Plant
The processing sequence that turns Tronox’s mineral sands into finished products begins at the Chandala Processing Plant, located about 60 kilometers north of Perth.
The Chandala complex includes three major plants: a dry mill, which separates the minerals; a synthetic rutile plant, which upgrades ilmenite into high-quality synthetic rutile; and a residue management plant.
The dry mill uses a range of different processes to separate the various types of sands, using the inherent mineral characteristics of electrical conductivity and magnetic susceptibility, particle size and specific gravity. Through these processes, Tronox produces approximately 450,000 metric tons of ilmenite, 80,000 metric tons of zircon, 37,000 metric tons of rutile and 20,000 metric tons of leucoxene a year.
While the zircon, rutile, and leucoxene are either bagged or sold in bulk, the ilmenite is further processed into synthetic rutile in three stages at Chandala’s synthetic rutile plant – reduction, aeration and acid leaching.
In this process, a residue of activated carbon is also produced as a by-product and packaged for sale.
Of the 220,000 metric tons of synthetic rutile produced at Chandala each year, about half is exported. The remainder is sent to the Kwinana Pigment Plant to be converted into titanium dioxide pigment.