June 21, 2016
Moreton Resources has bought mineral exploration permits for silver in southern Queensland which it says will act as an “enabler” for its proposed Kingaroy open-cut coal mine.
Moreton Resources managing director Jason Elks issued a statement to the ASX on Monday saying that a fully owned Moreton subsidiary, MRV Metals, had acquired four exploration permits previously held by Alcyone Resources for silver prospects near Texas.
The portfolio presents “significant silver prospects with potential upside in copper, zinc and lead,” the ASX statement read.
However, MRV Metals has not acquired Alcyone’s mining lease approvals, associated environmental approvals, plant or equipment at Alcyone’s former silver mine.
“The company will release announcements, following geological review by our geological partners Measure Group of the assets acquired, over the coming weeks,” the statement continued.
Alcyone has a troubled past. It was formerly known as Macmin Silver Limited and operated the Twin Hills Heap Leach Silver Mine from 2007-09.
However, it struck difficulties during the global financial crisis and went into voluntary administration, only to be re-capitalised, re-named and re-listed in 2009.
Alcyone began silver production again in 2011 but went back into receivership in 2014, was de-listed from the ASX in 2015 and then liquidated.
The mining lease for the Twins Hills mine no longer exists.
“Moreton Resources will be evaluating options to advance the site back to a potential mining lease in the future, provided a path forward can be agreed in close consultation with Government and taking into account their guidance upon such matters,” the ASX statement said.
Mr Elks said Moreton Resources would be looking to advance the Texas project in parallel with the South Burnett project “with the view that this new acquisition will act as an enabler for the Tarong Basin Coal project”.
“We know that the people of Texas and surrounding areas were very reliant upon this project for employment and economic stimulus into the community, and unfortunately the region suffered greatly with the closure of this operation.
“MRV Metals is keen to help revitalise the community, and through this potential of advanced exploration and even mining activities, we hope to see Texas benefit from our activities and advancements.
“As was the case for the South Burnett when MRV Tarong Basin Coal took ownership, the first priority for MRV Metals will be to work in partnership with the community and governmental organisations to clean-up the current site, wherever MRV Metals is able to assist.
“We aim to ensure it is functioning within the appropriate guidelines and will be taking a reasonable approach to corporate responsibilities.”
Mr Elks said the Alcyone assets were “highly prospective”.
“Given the significant drilling and geological information available, the company is working hard to unlock the potential of these assets, in the future, but for now, our primary focus is getting on the ground in August and working with landholders and locals about the future of these assets,” he said.
”Whilst you can’t attribute the historical highs and lows of the prior owner to what may eventuate in the future, it certainly is encouraging that this site was once a productive and low-cost mining operation.
“If operations were to restart we would hope through prior learning and the support of the community, we can potentially make a viable mining operation into the future.
“The parent company Moreton Resources Limited now has a dual focus on a major potential thermal coal development in the South Burnett (which is a struggling region due to major unemployment and economic decline), and resurrecting this latest acquisition into a functioning project.”