Confidence returning to mining in Tasmania

Mineral exploration spending remains weak in Tasmania, but Resources Minister Guy Barnett says  confidence is returning to mining.Exploration spending fell slightly to $3.2 million in the September quarter, Australian Bureau of Statistics trend terms figures showed.

HELPING HAND: Resources Minister Guy Barnett inspects core samples with Stellar Resources geologist and project manager Ray Hazeldene, at Zeehan.

HELPING HAND: Resources Minister Guy Barnett inspects core samples with Stellar Resources geologist and project manager Ray Hazeldene, at Zeehan.

That took the annual spend to $12.9 million; well down on the $16.6 million spent in the year to the end of September 2015, and less than a third of the $39.2 million spent in the year to the end of September 2013. National spending increased by 1 per cent in the quarter, seasonally adjusted.

“Confidence is returning to the Tasmanian mining industry as world commodity prices recover and companies look to progress several exciting projects,” Mr Barnett said. He said there was an air of optimism at an Australian Mines and Metals Association gathering at Strahan on Friday.

He also visited Stellar Resources Limited, which hopes to mine tin near Zeehan.

“I was pleased to speak to the local mining industry about the Liberal government’s investment in strengthening our support of this critical sector, which employs about 3000 Tasmanians,” Mr Barnett said.

“The potential is enormous, and it is great to hear that the company will now be applying for a mining lease and setting out to gain all necessary approvals,” Mr Barnett said.

“Together with PYBAR’s work to restart Henty and MMG’s announced sale of the Avebury mine, there is more and more positive news in the industry.

“Most importantly, as we are seeing at Henty, and we hope at Avebury and at potential new mines such as Stellar, this is an industry that can create direct and indirect jobs for a great many Tasmanians.”

Source: Sean Ford, The Advocate Newspaper