A borderline case
Thursday, 11th August, 2011
Broken Hill sits on the edge of “the best uranium address in South Australia” but whether the NSW Government should lift its ban on uranium exploration and mining is a sensitive topic not everyone is prepared to discuss.
Marmota Energy Limited has been successfully exploring for uranium just 50-kilometres west of BH since 2009 at its Junction Dam project, but Managing Director Dom Calandro yesterday was reluctant to discuss issues on the NSW side of the border.
“It is pleasing to see the federal Resources Minister opening the debate on this issue, but our uranium exploration focus is in South Australia,” Mr Calandro said.
In Tuesday’s BDT, experienced mining consultant Mike Raetz backed a call from federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson to lift the NSW ban on uranium exploration and mining.
“From a geological and prospectivity perspective you certainly wouldn’t discount the potential for further discoveries in New South Wales,” Mr Calandro said.
“We are very excited with our Junction Dam project adjacent to the Honeymoon mine site and have been accelerating our exploration rather rapidly since our first discovery in 2009,” Mr Calandro continued.
Marmota’s successful exploration combined with the continued development at the Honeymoon and Beverley sites proves the region has significant uranium endowment.
“That’s why that part of the world is known as the best uranium address in South Australia,” Mr Calandro said.
“We have confidence in the future demand for uranium - particularly in a carbon-constrained world - where there will be even more emphasis globally on low emission electricity and nuclear energy is expected to feature prominently in that mix,” he continued.
Marmota recently announced a new round of high grade intersections of uranium oxide just west of BH and Mr Calandro said its portfolio of uranium projects had the company “in the right space” at the moment.
“The new drilling has defined and confirmed a very consistent zone of mineralisation, including a new four-kilometre long zone,” Mr Calandro, said.
“From the results achieved to date we believe there is significant potential for further extension and the discovery of additional zones at the Junction Dam site.
“Right now we have defined a zone of mineralization that extends for approximately 15-kilometres at Junction Dam,” he added.
Marmota has commenced a process with federal and state statutory authorities to ensure it will meet all the necessary requirements to take its projects to the next level.
“Once we have ticked all the boxes and met regulatory requirements, the next step is to establish a mini-trial plant at Junction Dam which we hope could happen toward the end of 2012 or early 2013,” Mr Calandro said.