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Compass on course to tackle Browns

Plans are well underway by Compass Resources NL to develop its Browns polymetallic resource in the Northern Territory.

A $10 million feasibility, test work and environmental study indicated that the project lends itself to a large-scale conventional open pit mining operation.

Work in proving the treatment process is well advanced and is expected to result in construction of a $300 million project with a state-of-the-art treatment plant to produce lead, cobalt, copper and nickel in value-added form for export.

The resources of the Browns-Mt Finch projects have good local infrastructure with a sealed road from Darwin to Browns and a new wharf complex at Darwin accessing Asian and other international markets.

The town of Batchelor is only seven kilometres from the site. Power, natural gas and a good water supply are in close proximity. These factors significantly reduce capital requirements.

Construction of a new forty megawatt power plant, a 220 tonnes per day sulphuric acid plant and an oxygen plant are also planned.

Due to the difficulties in raising capital, the board decided to seek alternative supplementary funding through a successful application for a $4.76 million Federal Government R&D grant and a rights issue of options to shareholders.

A technical panel has been established to provide advice on key technical issues and advise on finalising additional finance.

Rated as the largest polymetallic mining operations in the country, resources at the Browns-Mt Finch projects have been substantially increased to 75 million tonnes of metal.

In terms of the March 2000 metal prices, the value of these resources in the ground has increased from $3 billion to $9 billion.

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