INTENSE competition between Cazaly Resources and Rio Tinto has emerged over the Shovelanna iron ore deposit in the Pilbara after Cazaly lodged an exploration licence when Rio recently failed to renew its licence for the tenement. Rio has formally asked State Development Minister Alan Carpenter to exercise his discretion under a section of the Mining Act to refuse the application for Shovelanna on the grounds of “public interest”. Cazaly lodged an exploration license application for the tenement, located about 25 kilometres east of Mt Newman, on September 7 after the exploration licence held by previous owners, Hamersley Resources Limited (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto), Wright Prospecting and Hancock Prospecting, expired on August 26. Since lodging the application for the licence, Cazaly announced that it had entered into an agreement with Echelon Resources to provide technical capabilities and to fund a $2.5 million drilling program on the Shovelanna Iron Ore Project. Cazaly and Echelon intend to commence an initial drilling program once the application is granted.
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