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Murchison launches hunt

PERTH-based Murchison United NL has launched a major exploration and development program at its tin mine in Tasmania.

The company has clinched a deal with the Tasmanian Government

to jointly fund a $36 million, six-year exploration and development program at the Renison Bell tin mine, which has been an integral part of the Tasmanian economy for more than three decades.

The new development will secure the long-term future of the tin mining operation.

The new program will also complement exploration and development already underway at Renison and is designed to convert the existing inventory of inferred resources to reserves and extend the mine life to ten years.

Work will involve 9.3 kilometres of underground development and 163,000 metres of diamond core drilling over six years. It is rated the largest exploration program undertaken at Renison in its thirty-eight year history.

Murchison managing director Paul Atherley said the government’s contribution would be $3 million annually and is conditional on the company undertaking equal expenditure annually.

“We are delighted to enter into this agreement, which represents a vote of confidence in the future of Renison,” Mr Atherley said.

“This marks a major turning point for one of Australia’s best known mines.”

Murchison acquired Renison in September 1998 and has transformed it from the highest to the one of the lowest cost tin mining operations in the world.

The Renison Bell tin mine is 100 per cent owned by Murchison and has underpinned a record $11 million net half year profit after tax for the company in the current fiscal year.

In 1995, Renison, located 136 kilometres south of Burnie, had a measured resource of 1.5 million tonnes grading 1.6 per cent tin, with an indicated 7.8mt grading 1.7 per cent.

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