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Bemax seeking to open mines near Balranald

Tuesday, 29th March, 2011

Bemax Resources has approached Balranald Shire Council about developing two mineral deposits near the town.

The proposal is for the Atlas and Campaspe deposits which are six kilometres apart and 90 kilometres north of Balranald.

Bemax Resources Exploration and Geology Manager, Ray Roberts, said it was early days for the mineral sands sites.

"The project is in the very early stages of assessment and approval, with further drilling planned for this year," Mr Roberts said. 

"Environmental studies will also be undertaken over the next two years as part of the Environmental Assessment required for mining approval."

A combination of dry and wet dredge mining is proposed. The mine life is estimated at 11 years.

If approved, mining could begin in 2014 and could employ more than 100 people during construction. 

Balranald Shire Council's Mayor, Steve O'Halloran, said Iluka Resources had also approached the council to establish a new sand mine.

Mr O'Halloran said Iluka was looking at a sand mine 35 kilometres north of the town and welcomed the interest from both companies.

"We're pretty excited. We've been through difficult times the last few years," Mr O'Halloran told the BDT.

Balranald, which has a population of about 1,400, will also be hosting the 2011 Countrylink Inland Tourism Awards in July.

Bemax Resources began production at its Ginkgo Mine in December 2005 and production started at the Snapper Mine site late last year.

The Snapper Mine is 10 kilometres from the Ginkgo Mine and 205km from the Broken Hill Mineral Separation Plant.

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