OKLAHOMA CITY – Tronox Inc. has confirmed that the Tiwest Joint Venture operations in Western Australia are still producing following the June 3, 2008, fire and subsequent shutdown of Apache’s Varanus Island natural gas processing facility. The joint venture has secured short-term natural gas supplies at increased costs, barring any further unforeseen developments.
At this stage, Tiwest continues to operate; however, the natural gas situation and its impact on western Australian industry is still quite fluid. The joint venture’s ability to continue to produce is contingent on its ability to acquire the necessary natural gas and electricity to safely run the operation. The joint venture will continue to assess the situation and will put in place additional contingency plans as the schedule for restoration of Apache’s facility is further refined. The joint venture is currently quantifying the impact of the increased costs and the ability of the joint venture to recover increased costs through business interruption insurance.
Tiwest, a 50/50 joint venture between Tronox and South African-based Exxaro Resources Ltd. subsidiary Yalgoo Minerals Pty Ltd., is one of the world’s largest and fully integrated, from mining to finished product, titanium dioxide projects. Its facilities include the Cooljarloo mineral sands mine, the Chandala synthetic rutile plant and the Kwinana titanium dioxide pigment plant. The Kwinana plant, with a current annual capacity of 110,000 tonnes, produces chloride process titanium dioxide pigment using Tronox’s proprietary technology and marketed under the TRONOX® brand.