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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tas scores mining exploration boost.

Tas scores mining exploration boost. 18/12/2005. ABC News Online

With metal prices at an all time high, a new wave of mineral exploration on Tasmania's west coast is turning up encouraging results.

Allegiance Mining's nickel deposit discovery has resulted in an eight-year mining commitment, and Copper Mines Tasmania is also looking at further development.

Allegiance Mining will construct its $60 million plant in the west coast wilderness near Zeehan.

Exploration manager Lindsay Newnham says the company did not expect to detect high nickel grades on the west coast but will now spend $2.5 million on a six-month exploration program.

"You never know what you're going to find on the west coast, it's just such a wonderful area to be exploring in," he said.

General manager Paul Richardson says the company never expected to find high-grade nickel on the west coast.

"It is geologically different to practically any other deposit in the world," he said.

"It is basically a nickel sulphide ore body that is in what people thought is rocks that shouldn't host such an ore body."

Copper Mines Tasmania general manager Scot Clyde says his company has plans to spend $250,000 on exploration.

"At present we've drilled out in the order of five years ahead of us, but it's open below that, so potentially it's open for years beyond that," he said.

"At the moment we're looking at doing further drilling to bring our confidence levels up to something in the order of eight to 10 years in front of us."

The Allegiance nickel mine will create 125 jobs on the west coast.
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