Cape Flattery Silica Mines
Mountains of silica sand stretch out like snow-covered peaks across Cape Flattery, lying approximately 250 km north of Cairns, in Northern Australia. This is the Cape Flattery Mine Site operated by MC. Silica sand is the primary raw material used in making glass products. The silica sand is also used to manufacture solar panels and demand has been soaring as new energy continues to garner increased attention.
Japan-bound silica sand exports from the Site through MC began in 1968. Cape Flattery Silica Mines Pty., Ltd., established in 1977 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of MC, stably supplies superior quality silica sand under an integrated system that includes mining operations such as extraction and refining, shipping and distribution.
In the late 1980s, we constructed at the Site a large-scale dock, accommodating a large-scale refinery plant and ships of up to 70,000 tons and loading some 20,000 tons of silica sand per day. Currently, about 2 million tons of silica sand annually are shipped from the Site to Japan as well as South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and other countries in Asia.
Business that aims to better coexist with local communities and the environment
The Site has confirmed deposits of approximately 200 million tons. At the current production volume, we estimate that there is enough silica sand there for the next 100 years. Therefore, we focus our attention on realizing sustainable resource development placing the surrounding natural environment as top priority.
Some efforts to achieve this involve the rehabilitation of topsoil at the Site to restore vegetation. After extracting silica sand, seeds of plants that grow naturally in that area are sowed into the soil to return the site over a 3 to 4 year period to a mountain of greenery, complete with trees and other natural vegetation.
All of the water that is used to purify silica sand is reused.
We have fostered our business in Australia aiming to better coexist with local communities and the environment for over 40 years.