Minerals and mining stories
The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Minerals & Mining sector:
The fast-growing market for electric cars has been instrumental in re-booting plans for a tin mine in Tasmania’s north west. Tin and Tungsten are metals used in car batteries; and Venture Minerals has stepped up exploration of both at its resource rich Mt Lindsay deposit. A company report explained that “tin is the metal most impacted by new technology through its use in electric vehicles” and this has helped “refocus Venture’s approach to developing this asset". In response to growing demand for electric cars, Perth based Venture Minerals says it has already started an underground scoping study at Mt Lindsay, as the need for battery metals grows. “Venture is uniquely positioned, with Mt Lindsay being one of the largest undeveloped tin projects in the world, containing in excess of 80,000 tonnes of tin metal,” the company report also said.
14 October 2018, Edition 199
The exploration for minerals in Tasmania is ramping up, with $6.6 million invested in the June quarter alone. Latest figures also show total investment in exploration for the 2017-18 financial year was $24.9 million, which is well up on the $14.3 million invested the previous year. Specialist consultant, and former federal Trade Minister, Andrew Robb told The Advocate: “Further new demand from China and other countries in our region can sustain such growth for several decades if we play our cards correctly.” Tasmania’s mining industry is currently experiencing a period of expansion, with a raft of potential mine re-openings. This includes the possible re-opening of the Mount Lyell copper mine at Queenstown; a move into underground mining at Savage River; re-opening of the Avebury nickel mine near Zeehan; and potential mine life extension at the MMG Rosebery mine.
12 September 2018, Edition 198
Tasmania’s mining sector continues to show strong growth with more than $2 billion worth of exports sold overseas in the year to April 2018. This represents a 40 per cent increase on the previous year according to State Resources Minister Guy Barnett, who said it equates to additional “jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians, particularly in our regional areas". The mining and mineral processing industry accounts for more than 50 per cent of the state’s total exports and the latest data builds on other good news for the sector. This includes Grange Resources’ Savage River operation which recently added 54 new jobs and is investing $10 million to examine further underground developments. Approvals have also been granted for a new $100 million iron ore mine at Rogetta, south of Burnie, which is expected to deliver 100 permanent jobs. Latest ABS figures also show spending on mineral exploration for the 2018 March quarter was up by 76 per cent compared to March 2017. This prompted Minister Barnett to add: “This is why the government has committed $2 million in the 2018 -19 budget to an exploration grants program to promote new drilling to underpin the future of the mining industry.”
10 July 2018, Edition 196
Good news for Tasmania’s mining industry with Grange Resources committing $10 million to investigate the underground mining of iron ore at Savage River, on the west coast. A move into underground mining would be a major change, with open cut mining carried out at Savage River for the past fifty years. It could also mean a significant jobs boost. A spokesperson for Grange Resources – which is headquartered in Burnie – said while it was too early to talk about job numbers, “any future development, if feasible, would involve significant investment and create employment, but the feasibility work needs to be concluded in the first instance.” Grange Resources said the $10 million investment would fund the first stage of a study into underground mining at Savage River’s North Pit, and this would help define the extent of the ore body. Grange Resources made an after-tax profit of more than $60m in 2017, and also has plans to spend $20m on a refurbishment program for its mining truck fleet in the next two years. Vast magnetite deposits were first discovered at Savage river in 1877.
11 April 2018, Edition 193
Demand in Latin America for its raise boring machines has caused Tasmanian business Terratec to open an office in Lima, Peru. As well as selling machines to the continent's mining businesses, the office will provide servicing and maintenance. Sales & Marketing Director, Bruce Matheson, said: “An upswing, in what has traditionally been a relatively slow market environment, has resulted in a healthy order book in the Latin American region. We have opened this office to extend our service capabilities to clients and to equal the cradle-to-grave service and continued customer assistance that we are known for in other parts of the world." Terratec's units are operated by mines and mining contractors around the world and some have been in service for 25 years. "Our aim is to keep them running as smoothly as when they were first made,” Mr Matheson said. The new office – which is strategically located close to Lima's CBD and the Jorge Chávez International Airport – will be overseen by the company's Director of Operations (Raise Boring) in the Region, John Alejos.
8 March 2018, Edition 192
Mt Lyell, the mine that once had a bigger budget than the State of Tasmania, could be producing copper again by late 2018.
1 May 2017, Edition 183
A proposed sale of the mothballed Avebury Nickel Mine has fallen through. Mine owner MMG, which had entered a purchase deal with Avebury Nickel Mines Ltd, said the final $32.5 million needed to seal the acquisition had not been paid by a cut-off date on 30 June. A sale and subsequent restart of mining had been expected to generate 200 jobs.
5 August 2015, Edition 163
Forward Mining has been granted a lease for iron ore extraction at Rogetta, near Burnie, raising hopes for 200 construction jobs in the hard-hit region. The mine is expected to produce a million tonnes of iron ore each year and to increase Tasmania’s annual iron ore exports to 3.8 million tonnes. Once operational it would employ 100 people. “It’s hoped Forward Mining can start construction next year with operations commencing in early 2017,” the Minister for Resources, Paul Harriss, said in a statement in June.
9 July 2015, Edition 162
Queenstown’s century-old Mt Lyell mine could reopen and start producing copper ore again by late 2016. Operator Copper Mines of Tasmania announced in May that its Indian parent company, Vedanta, had approved work on a final feasibility stage for a planned move back into production utilising a recently discovered ore body that is closer to the surface than the historic workings. About 200 people lost their jobs at the mine when it went into care and maintenance last year following the deaths of three workers.
2 June 2015, Edition 161
Contractors will have extra work and 1,500 jobs will be secured through a new power deal announced by Bell Bay Aluminium (BBA) and Hydro Tasmania in May.
2 June 2015, Edition 161