AGM to start tantalum project

AUSTRALASIAN Gold Mines NL has given the green light to a project to commission a pilot mining and treatment operation at its Dalgaranga tantalum project in WA by October.

The Perth-based company has completed a study to establish a pilot operation, which will be used to carry out large-scale bulk sampling to enable an accurate assessment of the grade and resource potential of the Dalgaranga and nearby Tantalus deposits.

A full-scale development of the tantalum deposits, situated 80 kilometres north-west of Mt Magnet in the WA Goldfields, would enable AGM to become a significant new player in the tantalum market

The tantalum market has been growing strongly in line with world economic growth — particularly the communications and technology sectors.

AGM managing director Mike Fotios said the company had received expressions of interest from Europe, the United States, Japan and China regarding the purchase of concentrates and participation in the project from end-user players in the tantalum industry.

“Marketing studies carried out by our consultants have identified a strong market for tantalite concentrates for at least the next three years, with demand growing at about 8 per cent per annum,” Mr Fotios said.

“This has given us great confidence to press ahead with this project.

“Spot prices for tantalum have been rising steadily this year, with current annual consumption running at 4 million pounds of tantalite.”

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