The Asia Miner

SEP-OCT 2014

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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The Queensland Government is releasing a competitive tender to enable exploration of an area in the resource-rich North West Queensland Minerals Province encompassing the abandoned Mary Kathleen uranium mine near Mount Isa. Exploration of this area will drive new investment opportunities in the region and allow information to be gained on concentrations of rare earth elements and remaining mineralisation including in stockpiles leftover from previous mining. The successful tenderer will be granted an exploration permit for minerals with the intent to progress to a production lease. The government will facilitate this by not seeking relinquishment of any of the eight sub-blocks for a term of five years and, should a further period of time be required to proceed to production, will consider an appropriate extension to the exploration permit. Tenderers will need to demonstrate how it will address legacy environmental issues and observe native title and heritage requirements. Extracting the rare earths provides a commercial opportunity while responding to environmental legacy issues. The tenders will be assessed on the willingness of the tenderer to address environmental legacy issues and engage with the landholder and the Kalkadoon Native Title Corporation (traditional owners of the land) and with the broader Indigenous community. Rare earth elements found in this area of Queensland are commonly found in conjunction with copper, gold and uranium mineralisation. The deposit mined at Mary Kathleen contained both uranium and rare earth elements, however only the uranium was extracted resulting in the concentration of rare earth elements in the tailings storage facility as a waste product. A recent survey confirmed the presence of mineralised material in the historic stockpiles, reject pile areas and exposed in the eastern wall of the open pit. There are approximately 7 million tonnes of ore tailings stored on the Mary Kathleen site in a purpose-built dam structure. There may also be potential for rare earth elements and uranium mineralisation at other locations at the site. Rare earth elements are a group of chemical elements exhibiting a range of special properties which are used in many modern and green technologies. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry define the Rare Earth Elements as the 15 lanthanides and Yttrium and Scandium. Rare earth elements are a critical component in the manufacture of modern technologies including mobile phones, flat screen televisions, magnets and rechargeable batteries, and defence systems. Mary Kathleen's tailings storage facility contains significant quantities of the commonly used light rare earth elements Lanthanum and Cerium, with minor quantities of Neodymium. The area for tender is located 60 km east of Mount Isa and 70 km west of Cloncurry in Queensland, Australia and is comprised of eight sub-blocks (see Figure 1) with an approximate size of 25.3 km 2 currently used for cattle grazing. The land release area includes the Mary Kathleen mine site consisting of one pit, six waste rock dumps, six stockpiles, a 30.7 hectare (ha) historic processing area, and a 110.6 ha tailings storage facility and evaporation pond area. The pit is approximately 230 metres deep from the eastern rim, with a water depth of approximately 40 to 50 metres. The mine was rehabilitated to world's best standard in the 1980s with the tailing storage facility, waste rock dumps and stockpiles covered with rock and soil material and revegetated. Mine support facilities including a power station, workshops, laboratory, stores and administration office were decommissioned and removed or buried during rehabilitation. The competitive tender process includes a cash bid component. A call for tenders will be released to the market on 1 August 2014 and contains all necessary information for prospective bidders, including tender process requirements and assessment criteria and can be accessed from the QTender website. The tender process will close at 2.30pm on 3 November 2014. August 2014 Advertisement Authorised by Queensland Government, Mary Street, Brisbane Great state. Great opportunity.

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