Archive for May, 2019

   May 21

Exploration to start at old mine

The Tick Hill Gold Project could restart after being out of action for two decades.MINING could restart at a North West gold project once home to one of the most lucrative deposits in Australia.
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The Tick Hill Gold Project hasn’t been mined for more than two decades but drilling results could forge the project back into production.

Drilling is set to restart at the project with a drill rig from South Australia mobilised to the site about 100kilometres south-east of Mount Isa.

Thirty-five air-core drill holes will be drilled within the existing tailings dam along with another 25 holes to test for alluvial potential near the open-cut pit.

The prime focus of the exploration is to find a high-grade gold resource previously mined by Carpentaria Gold in the 1990s.

Carpentaria Gold was a subsidiary of MIM Holdings – the parent company of Mount Isa Mines Limited before it was taken over by Xstrata.

Three Tick Hill mining leases were transferred from Mount Isa Mines to Superior Resources’ joint venture partner Diatreme Resources in March this year.

Diatreme Resources announced its plan to start drilling at the site as part of a joint venture with Superior Resources.

Environmental permits are expected to be granted to give the green light for Diatreme to move ahead with the project.

The exploration focus is on identifying an extension to the earlier high-grade mineralised zone previously mined at the site, averaging 22.6 grams a tonne.

MIM has retained a royalty on gold produced from the deposit.

Tick Hill is one of the highest grade gold deposits in Australia’s producing history in the modern era.

Diatreme’s chief executive officer, Neil McIntyre, said it was exciting to start drilling at Tick Hill, given its rich history of gold production.

“The joint venture team has a wealth of experience and we are excited by the potential of this project,” Mr McIntyre said.

“Tick Hill adds to Diatreme’s prospective minerals portfolio, including our flagship Cyclone Zircon Project [in Western Australia].”

Mining at Tick Hill ceased in 1995 after 513,333 ounces of gold and 705,000 tonnes of ore was produced at a recovered grade of 22.6 grams a tonne gold.

Tick Hill was previously mined by open-pit with an underground mine beneath the pit.

A capital raising campaign secured $249,000 to fund a tailings and surface gold assessment program at the Tick Hill Gold Project and to provide working capital.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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   May 21

Federal funding targeted for city’s weir and holiday park

The Dubbo Weir. File PhotoPROJECTS to upgrade the South Dubbo weir and the Dubbo City Holiday Park will be put to the federal government for funding under a scheme to strengthen regional communities.
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The National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) allows local government to apply for federal government funding of between $20,000 and $10 million, on a price-match basis, for economically beneficial construction projects.

Dubbo City Council had originally intended to apply for NSRF funding to upgrade the “general aviation area” of Dubbo City Regional Airport, but on Friday, June 19 council received notification the airport had been shortlisted for funding under a separate program.

In a report to Dubbo City Council, director of parks and landcare services Murray Wood recommended the council instead choose the weir and the Dubbo City Holiday Park “as the two projects to be applied for” under the NSRF.

“The weir is required to ensure the security of Dubbo’s water supply whilst the current structure poses the highest possible risk to the Dubbo community based on the history of multiple deaths at this location,” Mr Wood said.

“The project is regional in terms of the environmental and economic benefit that arises from upgrading a weir to one that is safer for river users and enables the migration of native fish.”

“Similarly to the weir, Council already has a budget of $500,000 allocated to asset upgrades at the Dubbo City Holiday Park. The Dubbo City Holiday Park has a proven capacity to support the tourism industry … whilst the tourism economy itself is an important feature of the economic activity in Dubbo.”

Applications for the current round of NSRF close on Friday, July 31, with the successful projects to be announced in December.

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   May 21

Stanbroke to create Gulf jobs

Stanbroke has proposed cropping and irrigation of up to 15,000 hectares of cotton adjacent to the Flinders River, about 90-kilometres south of Normanton.One of Australia’s biggest beef producers has proposed a $200 million cotton farm that will create jobs in remote Gulf country and help produce some of the world’s best steaks.
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Queensland’s independent co-ordinator-general has declared Stanbroke’s $200-million Three Rivers Irrigation Project in the Gulf region of North Queensland a co-ordinated project.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Stanbroke has proposed cropping and irrigation of up to 15,000 hectares of cotton adjacent to the Flinders River, about 90-kilometres south of Normanton.

“Stanbroke has estimated the project will create up to 100 construction jobs over the three years of construction and 75 operational jobs at peak production,” he said.

“It’s great to see a Queensland pastoral icon like Stanbroke continuing to invest and grow jobs in the North.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed and supporting and facilitating initiatives by the private sector to develop appropriate water and land resources in North Queensland on a sustainable basis.”

The project aims to grow cotton for the export market and utilise the cotton seed by-product as supplementary feed for Stanbroke’s beef herd in the dry season.

Stanbroke is the largest privately-owned vertically integrated beef business in the world, with cattle on a network of properties stretching across 1.6 million hectares of the Gulf. It also has processing facilities in the Lockyer Valley, from where its signature Diamantina Beef is sold globally.

The proposed project is for a cotton farm and processing ginnery, worker accommodation, an airstrip, off-stream 150,000-megalitre water storage area, pump stations, water transfer channels and potentially a diversion structure or weir.

Dr Lynham said Stanbroke was seeking approval to extract a further 122,000 megalitres a year from the lower Flinders River to irrigate the cotton.

This is on top of the 28,800 megalitres they already hold.

The government is currently finalising amendments to the Gulf Water Resource Plan and Resource Operations Plan which contemplates an unallocated water reserve of more than a quarter of a million megalitres of water in the Flinders River catchment in the fourth quarter of 2015.’

Declaration as a co-ordinated project recognises that the proposal requires a rigorous and comprehensive environmental impact assessment, involving whole-of-government co-ordination. Stanbroke started its environmental assessments before the last wet season.

The next stage is for the co-ordinator-general to draw up Draft Terms of Reference for Stanbroke to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, which will be released for public comment when completed.

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   May 21

Eastman celebrates Group One treble at Tabcorp Park

SIX months ago Larry Eastman had never trained a Group One winner in 40 years of trying.
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TOP CLASS: Morton Plains surges clear to win the Vicbred Super Series final for three-year-old fillies at Melton. Picture: STUART McCORMICK

Now he has four.

The Shelbourne harness racing trainer celebrated a career-best performance on Saturday night when he won three Group One races at Melton.

Eastman took out the two three-year-old Vicbred Super Series finals with Menin Gate and Morton Plains respectively, while Milly Perez capped off the night with a stunning performance to win the Vicbred Super Series final for four-year-old mares.

“To be honest, I can’t describe this feeling,’’ Eastman said.

“It was just one of those nights where everything fell into place. All three horses were driven perfectly by Chris (Alford).

Chris Alford and Larry Eastman

“We went into the night thinking Menin Gate was our best chance and we were just hoping we could pinch one win. To win all three is just amazing.

“It probably hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a great thing for the people who own the horses. They’re not only long-time clients, they are friends.

“Menin Gate and Morton Plains have similar ownership, while a good percentage of Milly Perez’s owners are first-time owners. Those owners will cherish those Group One wins forever.”

Menin Gate and Morton Plains are raced by a syndicate of Birchip-based owners.

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   May 21

Graziers meet with minister

Winton councillor and grazier Emma Forster said the next wet season may come too late for many stations in debt.
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GRAZIERS across the country assembled in a Winton hall in December urging banks and governments to do something to fix rural debt.

Their stories of foreclosures and evictions at the Rural Debt Crisis Summit made people in the cities take notice, and motivated banking giant ANZ to place a 12-month moratorium on farm foreclosures.

However, the crisis has reached a worse point than it had seven months ago when the summit was held, according to Winton councillor and Werna Station owner Emma Forster.

“We were all hoping we would get a wet season but we did not,” Cr Forster said.

“I really don’t think the state or federal government stood up and listened after that big summit in Winton, they really need to step (up) now and get in on the industry before they have a big mess to clean up and there’s no farmers left out here.”

Cr Forster said she had less than half her breeding herd compared to when the drought began, and it was costly to sustain them.

Rain would not be enough to help graziers who used all their financial reserves and lost their breeding herds.

“One of the biggest issues after it does rain is it doesn’t rain money,” Cr Forster said.

“Because when it does rain, with the shortage of cattle, everyone is running with less breeders than what they should, which are going to be bringing a premium price.”

Cr Forster is among a committee of graziers that met privately with Queensland Agricultural Minister Bill Byrne in McKinlay on Wednesday.

After the meeting, Mr Byrne acknowledged the government was expected to do more to assist graziers facing increased financial pressure.

“There is an obligation on governments to do what it can to assist during those periods of pressure,” he said.

“So that’s what we’re here to talk about, what’s effective, what is ineffective, and if necessary what opportunities may be going forward if this continues.”

He said the government had no timeframe in place to aid graziers.

State member for Mount Isa Rob Katter – who co-ordinated last year’s summit – said the pastoral industry had a year to make the state government commit to meaningful assistance before the next election cycle.

He described rural debt as a “do or die” issue for his electorate because most communities in his electorate, excluding Mount Isa and Cloncurry, relied heavily on the cattle industry.

Mr Katter said the solution to rural debt was a reconstruction board, which would loan more money to graziers, and it was not a “hand out” because the money would eventually be returned to the taxpayer.

Graziers were not in debt because they bought too much property, Mr Katter said.

“It’s just they cannot ride the bad years like they used to because the good years aren’t as good,’’ he said.

“They can get through the tough years but then through a live export ban caused by a (federal) political decision and three years of drought, I challenge any business person to get through that.”

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   May 21

Red Gum Preschool officially opens doors

Aiden McCarthy and Deanna McCarthy tucking in to some cake. Photo: CHERYL BURKE HUNDREDS of Dubbo residents walked through the doors of Red Gum Childcare and Preschool on Saturday.
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After a busy four months of work, owners Nick and Danielle Sykes, along with director Deanna McCarthy and 20 other staff members, welcomed enrolled families and curious community members to view their hard work.

Located on 252-256 Fitzroy Street, the building was first built as the old private hospital.

Mr Sykes said the only thing that had been kept the same in the renovations, apart from the external walls, was the downstairs kitchen.

What was once a building which catered for the sick and injured, now offers five separate play rooms to its enrolments.

Mr Sykes said he and his wife were both thrilled with the turnout from the open day.

They were unable to place an exact number on visitors, but Mr Sykes said more than 200 bacon and egg rolls had been demolished by the crowd.

Mr Sykes said more than 50 enrolments out of the maximum 100 spots per day had been filled already.

The new facility will cater for children aged from six weeks to six years old.

Director Deanna McCarthy said a number of parents had expressed interest in enrolling their child at Red Gum during the open day.

“It’s been a great, family fun day for the community,” she said.

“I’m glad people have enjoyed peeking around the rooms and seeing what we have to offer.”

Staff members Sonya Bell and Amanda Brown said they were excited to officially start work on Monday.

“The set up of the place is what sets Red Gum apart from others in Dubbo,” Ms Bell said.

“Particularly the playground areas which cater for specific age groups.”

Ms Brown said she was pleased with the safety elements of the building.

“Everything has just been so well thought out,” she said.

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   May 21

Dubbo’s ice issues are far from over: Lynn Field

THE National Ice Taskforce has wrapped up its community consultations, but a solution to the region’s ice woes may still be a while off, according to Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation CEO Manager Lynn Field. Breaking the iceTHE National Ice Taskforce has wrapped up its community consultations, but a solution to the region’s ice woes may still be a while off, according to Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation CEO Manager Lynn Field.
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Taskforce members spent eight weeks meeting with stakeholders in communities across Australia, including a visit to Dubbo in May, and finalised the process on Friday.

A report will be provided to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the coming weeks, with a National Ice Action Strategy to be developed alongside the states and territories by the end of the year.

But Mrs Field, who works closely with those affected by drugs, feared implementing a solution would be easier said than done.

“I’m not confident, unfortunately. While the problem is Australia-wide, the states are responsible for the implementation of it and the federal government has only come in because the states haven’t dealt with it,” Mrs Field said.

“The problem with drug addiction of any sort – people are taking ice to feel numb. They’re not taking it to get a buzz. This is an awful reflection of our society, when people are taking drugs so they don’t feel, because they can’t cope with what‘s going on in their life.”

“Drug addiction means that there’s life skills issues – you don’t take drugs without a reason. There’s community services that could assist in some way, then you have the health side of it that could deal with the detox bit and we have the police who are attempting to slow the flow of the drugs in the area and get the dealers off the street – it needs to be a three-pronged process. Justice, health and community services need to work together, but everybody is so busy trying to own it that nobody’s prepared to work with each other to get the solution.”

Taskforce lead Ken Lay said the need for more services in rural areas became apparent during the consultations.

“There’s a real thirst for better treatment for people that are affected by ice,” Mr Lay said.

“At many of the rural consultations we heard of people with addictions that needed help having to travel hundreds and hundreds of kilometres to get into detox facilities or rehab facilities.”

Mrs Field has a client based in Warren who was on an intensive corrections order which requires him to undergo rehabilitation.

“This gentleman at Warren has a job, has a family, but he has to go into rehab. If we had a rehab here that would make his life so much easier,” she said.

“It’s beyond comprehension that the need for a rehab can be ignored in this area. We service so many areas, I mean people who get pregnant in Walgett have to travel to Dubbo to give birth.”

“This is where we need it. [But] I understand if anyone got a rehab that needed it, we’d be putting them up like windfarms.”

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