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Norseman’s subdued mining industry will receive a much-needed breath of life this year, with the world’s third commercial caesium mine set to open near the town in August.
Pioneer Resources’ Pioneer Dome project, 40km north of Norseman, holds Australia’s first known deposit of caesium ore, also known as pollucite.
It will give a short-term economic boost to the region, which suffered the closure of the long-running Central Norseman gold mine in 2014, generating 25 jobs over a nine-month period.
There are only two other known pollucite deposits globally.
The rare mineral is used to produce caesium formate, a high-density fluid used as lubricant in high-temperature and high-pressure oil and gas drilling.
Yesterday, Pioneer announced a funding agreement with Cabot Corporation, which will extend a $4.8 million loan to start operations in exchange for 100 per cent of its product.
The ore will be mined and exported through Esperance.
Pioneer managing director David Crook said while operations would be outsourced to a contractor it would “undoubtedly” use Goldfields labour.
Mr Crook said while the project was initially planned to last for nine months and bring a profit of more than $10 million, recent findings could extend the mine’s life further. “There are more products it looks like we’ll be able to sell,” he said.
“There’s a potassium mineral it looks like we can sell and other products that could lengthen the duration of the operation.
“The caesium formate, that’s only the start of it.
“It’s very exciting for Pioneer to be moving from an exploration company to a mining company.”
The Shire of Dundas on Tuesday night considered Pioneer’s future in the region, with president Laurene Bonza optimistic about the mine’s impact on Norseman.
“The community is happy to have any industry that is going to bring life to town, so that is the way we would view it,” she said.
“It’s only going to be a small operation but I understand they’re looking at putting workers in town, so it will be good if we can get some more people in town.”
Ich finde damit ist bei mir die Glaubwürdigkeit weiter gestiegen.
Bin zufrieden, jetzt warten auf den weiteren Newsflow und steigende Kurse.