30/10/2007 - 22:00

EPA approval lifts Olympia

30/10/2007 - 22:00

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Shares in Olympia Resources got a much-needed boost this week after the company received approval from the state’s environmental watchdog for the development of a mineral sands mine at Keysbrook, 70 kilometres south of Perth.

Shares in Olympia Resources got a much-needed boost this week after the company received approval from the state’s environmental watchdog for the development of a mineral sands mine at Keysbrook, 70 kilometres south of Perth.

While the Environmental Protection Authority’s approval is loaded with conditions, which are likely to restrict mining to daytime activity only, the Herdsman-based company said it was confident it would meet all of the conditions and would be able to develop a successful project.

The proposed Keysbrook mine is expected to produce about 78,000 tonnes of titanium minerals and 15,000t of zircon a year worth about $30 million annually.

Olympia said once the mine was operational it would generate an average of $10 million a year in net operating cash flow before interest and tax over its eight-year life.

It is aiming to develop the mine in the second half of next year pending approval from the environment minister, David Templeman, and local government authorities.

Olympia shares lifted 13 per cent on the news to 7.9 cents, about half the value it traded at the beginning of the year.

The approval is an important step for the company, which has had a long-running battle with the nearby community about its Keysbrook mine proposal, particularly with regard to water usage, pollution and truck traffic.

The EPA has recommended strict noise, dust and vegetation controls for the mine.

“Most of the local community input on this project was not supportive, with noise a big issue, especially at night,” EPA chair Barry Carbon said.

The EPA has said it has recommended the proposal proceeds only if Olympia can ensure its operations meet required noise limits.

Mr Carbon said he believed the restrictions would force the miner to operate during daytime hours only.

Mr Gazzard said all production from the mine had been pre-sold.

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