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Major tin find in Tarkine

Thu August 2, 2012 6:16pm

A MINING company waiting for approval for an open-cut mine in the Tarkine, has made a major tin discovery in the same area.

A MINING company waiting for approval to start an open-cut operation in the Tarkine, has made another major tin discovery in the same area. The news has riled conservationists who said if Environment Minister Tony Burke did not step in to protect the rainforest from development the on-ground protests could rival that mounted to save the Gordon River in the 1980s. Six mining proposals in the Tarkine are currently being assessed and the Tarkine National Coalition has warned protesters are ready to blockade if necessary. Venture Minerals, which is waiting to hear if it can start mining at its Mt Lindsay tin/tungsten project near Tullah in the North-West, says its Big Wilson deposit could be a landmark discovery given the shortage of new tin projects around the world. The Big Wilson discovery is just 6km from Mt Lindsay and the first drill hole intersected a massive 47m tin strike. The company requested an ASX trading halt yesterday ahead of today's announcement. Venture Minerals managing director Hamish Halliday said: "To put the discovery into context, Venture drilled 134 holes at Mt Lindsay before we intersected mineralisation as good as this and we have achieved this result at Big Wilson with the first drill hole." Mr Halliday said the new find highlighted the mining potential of an area which he said had been grossly underexplored. Conservationists are fighting to curtail mineral exploration in the area because of its rainforest values and because it is the last stronghold of healthy Tasmanian devils. The TNC has appealed to Environment Minister Tony Burke to grant the area natural heritage status. The Minister has until the end of next year to make a decision. "In the interim, these mining projects are not being assessed against natural heritage criteria. It seems there are stalling tactics going on," Scott Jordan from the TNC said. "We knew this announcement from Venture was coming. The company has been working extensively in the area. "We do not intend to let one mine get built let alone a province of mines as Venture is proposing." Just last week, Shree Minerals' proposed magnetite and hematite mine at Nelson Bay River moved one step closer to becoming a working proposition when the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Authority board issued approval conditions.

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