The relaxation of legislation for non-military access in South Australia could result in $1 trillion worth of mineral wealth, according to the state`s peak mining body.
Yesterday the Federal Government approved a new plan for management and use of the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA).
The chief executive of the South Australia Chamber of Mines and Energy, Jason Kuchel, said the area presented a great opportunity that could be unlocked under the new plan.
“The WPA, an area the size of England, and with an estimated trillion dollars worth of minerals, now has the potential to be unlocked for the benefit of South Australians, through investment, employment and royalties,” he said.
Kuchel said certain zones in the area would be “time shared” for mining and defence activities.
Copper and gold mining already begun
Major mines already operating in the area include the Challenger gold mine that was recently acquired by Kingsgate Consolidated and OZ Minerals` Prominent Hill copper and gold project.
WPG Resources also has it`s Peculiar Knob project in the region.
According to Kuchel, the WPA has over $35 billion worth of known deposits and the total mineral wealth has been estimated to be more that $1 trillion but he says foreign involvement in projects in the WPA was “not a totally resolved issue”.
Tasman Resources currently mines in the area and Mr Kuchel told the Herald Sun the company is getting strong drilling results from its projects north of BHP Billiton Ltd’s Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine.