07/05/2008 - 22:00

Hall of Fame asks industry to dig deep

07/05/2008 - 22:00

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The Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame Foundation is appealing to the mining community to help it raise $10 million.

The Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame Foundation is appealing to the mining community to help it raise $10 million.

Foundation chairman Ian Burston said urgent assistance was needed to supplement day-to-day operations, maintain and develop the galleries, and expand current educational programs.

“Essentially, the Hall of Fame was established to really put down a footprint and statement about the value of prospecting to Western Australia and Australia,” he said.

“It’s really a physical marker of what mining and prospecting means to Australia in an ongoing sense.

“This fundraising will help build and equip the gallery and what will become the mining museum. We lost a bit of money early on in the piece, in the early 2000s, because of a contractor’s dispute with concrete, due to a quantity surveying error, so that held things up.

“We got it up and running in 2003-04, but it’s been a struggle ever since.”

The $20 million facility has reduced its operating deficit from $545,000 in 2006 to $480,000 last year, despite donations declining by $4,000 in the same period, totalling $732,400 in the past financial year.

Hall of Fame CEO Norma Latchford, who’s on the foundation’s board of directors, said she was confident the mining industry would step up to raise the $10 million by the end of the year.

“With the mining industry as it is at the moment, it’s very buoyant, so we’ll go for it and we’ll get it,” she told WA Business News.

Ms Latchford said the foundation would accept donations from businesses or an allocation of company shares, which would allow it to derive dividends or trade the shares in for cash at a later date.

The foundation’s board of directors includes Barminco Ltd CEO Neil Warburton, former Rio Tinto managing director of copper and gold mining Owen Hegarty, Western Mining Corporation chairman Hugh Morgan, past Toro Drilling Services director James Saunders, and former premier Richard Court.

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