Test drilling for antimony near Wild Cattle Creek, north of Dorrigo.
Test drilling for antimony near Wild Cattle Creek, north of Dorrigo.

Miners head for the hills

THERE’S gold in those hills.

Well, not quite, but there does appear to what is estimated to be a healthy quantity of the metal antimony, a mineral fetching similar prices on the world market to copper and is used in such things as a lead additive in wet cell batteries and in the growing market for fire retardants.

Mining company Anchor Resources Ltd is now in the process of raising capital to explore antimony reserves on private property at Wild Cattle Creek, north of Dorrigo. Managing director Trevor Woolfe said the results so far had been promising.

He said estimates of the deposit were growing and it was estimated there could be just under one million tonnes of ore.

From that there would be about 18,000 tonnes of ‘contained metal’, which was getting $US6500 a tonne, giving an estimated value of $117 million.

“Anchor’s belief in the long-term prospects for the antimony market is supported by robust global antimony prices. Although antimony prices weakened in the beginning of 2009, prices have subsequently rebounded well above longer-term averages,” he said.

He said there had been mining around the site since the late 1800s, and was mined again in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

There is a shaft on the site going down 165 metres.

He said although there had been some discussions with environmental and other groups in the area, the prospect of a mine was in its infancy.

He said the company’s next drilling program for Wild Cattle Creek was well advanced and drilling was expected to start in the first quarter of 2010.

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