Company officials said commissioning is still progressing on schedule and within budget and has advanced to ore feeding. With those initial stages of HMC production now in motion, wet commissioning should continue for another two to four weeks, it added, before gradually ramping up to steady-state processing.
"Production of first HMC product is perhaps the most memorable achievement of every mineral sands project," managing director Patrick Mutz said.
"While the challenge of ramping up the ore processing rate to name plate capacity and achievement of steady state operations is still in front of us, the achievements of completion of construction and first HMC production on schedule provides confidence that the remaining development hurdles will be cleared."
Image is now targeting January for first revenue receipt, with a positive project cash flow to follow within the March quarter of the new year.
The 100%-owned, zircon-rich Boonanarring project began construction in April. Image Resources is targeting HMC production of 1.1 million tonnes from the Boonanarring deposit over five years, followed by a subsequent three years and 711,000t from the sister Atlas deposit.