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News

Superior Resources has kicked off a 2500m reverse circulation and diamond core resource drilling program at its Steam Engine project in North Queensland.

Fifty holes are planned to enable completion of a scoping study for the project in a program expected to last at least two months.

“We are very pleased to be kicking off the next stage of Steam Engine just as the gold price begins to test its record highs,” managing director Peter Hwang said.

“Earlier this year we started evaluating that deposit on the basis of an Aussie $2000 gold price and fundamentals appeared attractive at the time.

“On the back of the current outlook for gold we are doubling our efforts to expedite completion of a scoping study and investigate our toll treatment options.”

The mineral resource estimate for Steam Engine stands at 1.27 million tonnes at 2.3g/t gold (about 94,000 ounces).

Mr Hwang said that resource was based on only 30 per cent of at least 2.5km of historically identified strike length and only to shallow depths.

“We have also identified a substantial amount of additional lode potential from existing data and field observations,” he said.

“Additionally we recognise that a more significant high-grade ore shoot system may exist as a feeder system beneath the known lodes.

“This represents significant upside potential for Steam Engine, which we will be testing during the current program.”



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The proposed raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam wall in North Queensland has been declared a coordinated project.

Upgrading the dam would be a key step towards developing the Burdekin Hydro power project, expected to create 200 jobs during construction and generate enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.

It is expected to cost between $358 million and $665 million, depending on the height increase ultimately proposed for the dam’s spillway.

The coordinated project declaration comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in September last year announced that Sunwater would start a $16 million business case into the dam raising

“This is a major economic capacity boosting project for North Queensland that will support more industries and more jobs for the future,” she said.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the declaration was another positive step for plans to create new opportunities for industry, mining and agriculture by raising of the Burdekin Falls Dam, south of Townsville.

“The proposal to increase the water storage volume of Queensland’s largest dam by up to double its current capacity will now be assessed through a comprehensive impact assessment process,” Mr Stewart said.

“The decision by Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to declare as a coordinated project will assist with rigorous planning and assessment of the project and its plans to meet the region’s future water needs.

“Sunwater, the dam’s owners and operators, are also conducting a $16 million detailed business case investigation, led by Building Queensland, as announced last September.

“Together, the coordinated project and business case processes will provide a thorough assessment and determine the optimal level of raising to be progressed.

“The project could enable an additional supply of between 150,000 and 575,000 megalitres per annum for the Burdekin-Haughton Water Supply Scheme, Townsville urban use, mining and agriculture.

“It would represent an investment of between $358 million and $665 million, depending on the height increase ultimately proposed for the dam’s spillway.”

Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General will be working with Sunwater through the full impact assessment process, including the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS).

The Coordinator-General will now prepare a draft terms of reference for the EIS and the community will be invited to have their say on what the EIS must address.

The Burdekin Falls Dam raising is the second major water infrastructure project to be declared as a coordinated project this year.

In May, the proposed $2.9 billion Urannah Dam was declared by the Coordinator-General as a coordinated project.



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A new circular economy initiative in the Bowen Basin will see mining truck tyres recycled for the first time in Australia.

Up to 30 new jobs are expected to be created as a result of the partnership between BHP and Novum Energy.

Used earth moving tyres from all seven BMA and BMC coal mines will be supplied to Novum, who will convert them into heavy and light oils, carbon black, syngas and steel at a processing plant being built in Nebo. 

“This is the first time in Australia that mining truck tyres will be recycled – and we’re doing it here in Queensland’s Bowen Basin,” BMA asset president James Palmer said.

“New technology means rather than storing old tyres they can be now be recycled and turned into new products such as oils, carbon black syngas and steel.”

BMC asset president Elsabe Muller said BHP would start by supplying 2000 tyres annually to Novum. The tyres weigh about 4.9 tonnes each.

“This is a first for BHP in Australia, and is another example of the mining industry in Central Queensland leading the way,” Ms Muller said.

Novum Energy Australia managing director Rowan Kendall said work was underway on a processing plant that would employ up to 30 full-time employees once fully operational. 

“Our target is to process 19,000 tonnes of rubber per annum, which will produce approximately 9 million litres of fuel oil, 4500 tonne of recycled carbon black, 2500 tonnes of waste steel and excess syngas for electricity generation,” he said.

“This is an effective way to ensure used tyres are being reclaimed in a safe and sustainable manner.”



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Carnaby Resources is selling historical tailings stockpiles at the Tick Hill gold project for $6 million to private mining and processing entity BIM Metals.

BIM will transport the Tick Hill stockpiles to the BIM-operated Lorena gold processing plant once final government permitting is received.

Carnaby Resources says the transaction will provide a cash boost for its exploration activities.

It maintains total ownership of the Tick Hill gold project, 110km south-east of Mount Isa.

At current gold prices, Carnaby says its proposed Tick Hill open pit cutback is forecast to generate net pre-tax cash flows of approximately $18 million at an AISC of A$1190/oz.

Negotiations to develop, profit share or sell the Tick Hill open pit project are
continuing.

“This is a pivotal moment for Carnaby. We are now in an enviable position
to be able to fast-track exploration at the recently acquired Mallina Basin
projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia where we have
exceptional walk-up drill targets near De Grey’s Hemi gold discovery
where first pass drilling is targeted to commence in September,” managing director Rob Watkins said.

“Likewise at Tick Hill, the search for the faulted offset of one of the highest grade and most profitable gold deposits ever mined in Australia will continue.”

The Tick Hill tailings dam and historical ROM pad featured in the BIM transaction contain probable ore reserves of 410,900 tonnes at 1.35 g/t for 17,800 ounces.

The total consideration of approximately $6 million comprises:
• $1.25 million non-refundable cash payment by August 14;
• $0.25 million non-refundable cash payment on or before November 15;
• $1.25 million cash payment conditional on the grant of the Environmental Authority Amendment (EA Amendment);
• $1.25 million cash payment 30 days after BIM commences collection of the Tick Hill stockpiles;
• 5 per cent royalty payment on sales of gold from the Tick Hill stockpiles (expected to equate to about $2 million at current gold prices).

Carnaby said it was well advanced with the EA Amendment and anticipated it being granted within three months.



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Upgrades between James St and Airport Ave have been earmarked as stage one early works for the $359 million Captain Cook Highway project.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said construction on the first stage of works was expected to start by mid-2021.

“Planning is underway for the James St and Airport Ave section, focusing on capacity improvements, with detailed design to begin soon,” Mr McCormack said.

Staging the project meant motorists would be able to realise the benefits of this major infrastructure investment in Cairns and Far North Queensland sooner, he said.

The $359 million Captain Cook Highway project is jointly funded with the Australian Government committing $287.2 million and the Queensland Government committing $71.8 million.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the accelerated works program would create more job opportunities in Cairns’ record road investment program.

“When these works start next year, we’ll have three major road projects collectively worth more than $1 billion underway across Cairns at the same time, employing hundreds of workers,” Mr Bailey said.

“Right now, major Queensland cities like Cairns need a reliable supply of projects to support workers and local businesses over the next few years.

“The $359 million Cairns Ring Road project and the almost 400 jobs it will support is a critical part of that.”

Once planning for the accelerated works program is complete, work will continue to progress master planning for the entire route between the Cairns CBD and Smithfield.

State Cairns MP Michael Healy encouraged people to have their say by filling out a survey online or contacting the project team with their feedback.

The Get Involved Survey will be open to the public online from Monday, August 3 to Friday, September 4, 2020.

A link to the survey can be found here: www.tmr.qld.gov.au/cairnsringroad.

The Australian Government recently added the Captain Cook Highway from Cairns CBD to Smithfield to the National Land Transport Network, recognising the critical importance of the road in providing a connection to the Cairns Airport and supporting freight movements across Far North Queensland.



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Every $1 invested in the CopperString 2.0 power transmission project is forecast to deliver $4.54 in benefits for Australia, economic analysis shows.

Director of project proponent CuString, Joseph O’Brien, said ACIL Allen had recently completed economic modelling estimating the planned transmission line’s Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) to be 4.54.

“The significance of this analysis is that CopperString’s BCR of 4.54 highlights the critical importance of the Townsville – North West Mineral Province industrial economy to our jobs and national income because this infrastructure compares very favourably to other Australian infrastructure projects,” Mr O’Brien said.

Relative to other nationally significant infrastructure projects, investments totalling more than $20 billion have been made with much lower BCRs, including Inland Rail with a BCR of 1.1, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail with a BCR of 1.21, and Western Sydney Airport with a BCR of 1.9, CuString says.

“It is clear that Queensland’s best bet to repower the economy is backing the North West Minerals Province and Townsville’s industrial manufacturing sector with major infrastructure investment such as CopperString,” Mr O’Brien said.

The $1.5 billion power scheme involves the construction of about 1100km of high-voltage overhead electricity transmission line between Mount Isa and Woodstock, south of Townsville, where it would connect to the National Electricity Market (NEM) grid.

The ACIL Allen report identified that CopperString’s key benefits include the efficiency benefits of electricity generation (principally associated with lower fuel and variable operating costs per unit of electricity generated), additional electricity generation, including increased production of renewable energy, reduced carbon emissions, increased mineral production and increased employment and prosperity for Queensland.

Previous independent studies by specialist resources consultants have found that by connecting the North West Queensland power system (currently isolated from the national grid) to the NEM, the NWMP would be a sustainable source of employment and national income for decades to come with a forecast aggregate growth in minerals production of $154 billion over 30 years from a known resource inventory of $680 billion.

The CopperString proponent’s immediate priorities are to sign an Implementation Agreement with the Queensland Government and secure financing support from the Australian Government and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

Hitting these milestones over the next two months would allow CopperString to continue at pace with approvals process and engineering work to remain firmly on track to commence construction work in mid-2021, CuString said.




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