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Veteran revels in anonymity

WITH his customary swagger, Josh Pitt seems as quiet in person as his name is in the business world.

Although he is a true veteran of the junior exploration game, Mr Pitt is not that well known and that is the way he likes it.

Mr Pitt moved out to WA from Melbourne in the 1960s as a young geologist caught up in the excitement of the nickel boom and other major mineral discoveries of the time.

He was quick to jump on the bandwagon discovering what is now the Golden Grove copper and zinc mine with Englishman Julian Phelps in 1971.

The discovery was pretty clear cut. It was the nearest greenstone belt to Perth and it was one of the first areas we checked, Mr Pitt said.

“Funny thing is it is about the only decent copper zinc discovery to this date in this State,” he said.

From there, through a complicated set up of backdoor listings and buyouts, Mr Pitt and associate Neil Tomkin, used core company Golden Grove Mining to provide seed capital to help other geologists and groups.

Grubstake Holdings, which today has progressed into very successful companies such as Compass Resources and Rob Mosic, Helix, Forrestonia and Kim Robinson, which later became LionOre International.

“It’s what we wanted to do because we didn’t see ourselves as primarily mine developers but wanted to keep with the prospecting and exploration,” Mr Pitt said.

“We have kept going with that concept of being involved in the mining industry by providing support for geologists we get to know and trust.

“That’s our modus operandi.”

Mr Pitt has just helped merge Dalrymple Resources with Lionore International (which will take over management of the Thunderbox Gold Mine) and he will take up a position on the board of LionOre.

Keeping true to his word he continues to fund juniors and is looking to position his interests in line with several, including base metal explorer Hampton Hill Resources, recent eastern States copper float Red Metal and green fields copper explorer Tracker Resources.

Mr Pitt is confident about the future for metals.

He said while the strong mining share prices were underpinned by real demand from Asia, people were also looking to invest their money back into the resource sector.

Mr Pitt said investors were starting to back away from the property market while shareholders were losing confidence in the blue chips.

“Big company shareholders have seen their money collapse too often, they just seem to cool off over time and lose direction,” Mr Pitt said.

“They can now say, based on the recent success of the juniors, that the resource industry is worth some money. It might be a bit speculative, but then there is more money coming in so that will be good for 2004.”

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