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New tenant for Trades Hall

Friday, 12th December, 2014

By Andrew Robertson

An Australian company with Chinese backers could breathe new life into Broken Hill and the region’s mining industry with plans to invest in a number of projects.

A spokesman for Aus Metals Mining Group yesterday confirmed the company’s interest, saying it was already in talks with a number of public and private companies that had investment-starved projects in the region.

“We’re looking at developing projects in this region in gold and copper in particular, and iron ore,” said Lee Rosetti, a local mining consultant.

Mr Rosetti declined to reveal which companies Aus Metals Mining was negotiating with but said the projects were in NSW and also South Australia.

“These negotiations with public companies have been happening and are happening currently.

“We’re in the process of doing a couple of deals right now.”

The Chinese-backed company’s arrival comes at a time when explorer and miners are struggling to attract investment for their projects, Mr Rosetti said.

He said without foreign investment, the region’s economy would continue to stagnate.

He described the company’s plans as a “quietly exciting” time for Broken Hill.

In an ironic twist, the mining company will take up residence in the Trades Hall after a lease agreement was finalised with the Trades Hall Trust last week.

Mr Rosetti said that initially he would be based at the office along with two or three other people.

“We’ve got plans for a geologist and other staff.”

BIC president Danny O’Connor welcomed the company’s plans and its move into the Trades Hall, probably the city’s best known symbols of unionism.

“It’s strictly a business deal, we’ve always believed that unions and businesses should work together,” he said.

“It’s money for the Trades Hall Trust and for us to keep the Trades Hall going, if it comes from industry, that doesn’t matter.

He dismissed suggests the union-built building was no place for a mining company to operate from, saying times had changed.

“This is beneficial to both parties.

“The union is part of the community of Broken Hill, they’re going to bring jobs to the city, and we won’t stand in the way of that.”

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