[hr]We’ve had a whip around the State to provide you with a small sample of proposed mining and energy projects to keep your eye on.[hr]
- Mary Kathleen Mine
Who: Watch this space.
What: Abandoned uranium mine closed in 1982.
Where: Roughly half way between Mt Isa and Cloncurry.
Why: Significant deposits of rare earth elements are known to exist at the Mary Kathleen site.
You don’t say: Mary Kathleen’s uranium deposits originated from contact metasomatic processes. This type of occurrence is uncommon, with Mary Kathleen being the only commercial example. The uraninite here was conglomerated with garnet.
Status: On 1 August, Mines Minister Andrew Cripps released the Queensland Government’s new framework for uranium mining and at the same time announced the release of the abandoned Mary Kathleen Mine, for competitive tender for rare earths exploration.
- Carmichael Coal Mine & Rail Project
Who: Adani Mining
What: $16.5 billion coal and rail project
Where: The Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, approximately 160km north west of Clermont.
Why: The mine is expected to produce 60 million tonne (product) per annum (Mtpa) over a life of approximately 60 – 90 years.
You don’t say: The project will reportedly supply Indian power plants with enough coal to generate electricity for up to 100 million people. The project is expected to generate an estimated 2475 construction jobs and a further 3920 jobs during the operations phase.
Status: The project received Commonwealth approval from the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt on 28 July 2014.
- Mount Morgan Gold Mine
Who: Carbine Resources
What: An historic gold mine which ceased production in 1980 after 100 years of operation.
Where: At Mount Morgan, approximately 40km south west of Rockhampton.
Why: Extensive mineral-rich tailings still remain on the site from 100 years of mining. Carbine believes they have found a new process that greatly reduces the amount of cyanide needed to extract minerals from the tailings – the most expensive part of processing tailings for gold.
You don’t say: The company says initial testwork results have exceeded expectations, showing cyanide consumption can be reduced by 81% via the selective removal of copper prior to gold recovery.
Status: Carbine Resources hope to have the new operation up and running in 2016.
- Bundaberg Coking Coal Project
Who: Fox Resources
What: Potential coking coal project
Where: Approximately 28km north west of Bundaberg
Why: During exploration the company intersected five coal seams that are thicker than 50cm. Importantly two of those seams, GL1 and GL2, correlate with the laterally continuous coal seams modelled as part of Fox’s Inferred Resource estimate.
You don’t say: In a statement Fox’s Managing Director, Mr Paul Dunbar, said “with infill drilling to increase the geological confidence in the 101Mt Inferred Resource the thicker upper seams in Fox 3 may provide further additional tonnage potentially improving the viability of the project.”
Status: The company is conducting a conceptual mining study into the possible development of the project. The project remains at the exploration phase and he company has not applied for a mining lease with the government at this stage.