Just a week after the Beaconsfield gold mine closed, with the loss of 150 jobs, a new company has revealed it will start work on a new mine in the town in 2013.
Proto Resources and Investments said that its nickel and iron ore mine will employ 100 people and about 150 during construction.
Mr Andrew Heap CEO of Tasmanian said that the company's USD 70 million Barnes Hill nickel and iron ore mine was all but certain to go ahead by the end of 2013.
A final feasibility report was completed last week and confirmed the mine would be highly profitable at existing prices. It would have a life of at least 25 years.
It would be an open cut operation, in contrast to the underground BCD Resources mine made famous by the rock fall in 2006 that killed miner Larry Knight and trapped Mr Russell and Mr Webb for more than two weeks before they were rescued.
Mr Andrew Mortimer MD of Proto said that the Tasmanian Conservation Trust had asked for extra environmental monitoring work around the degraded mine site, about 3 kilometers from the BCD Resources gold processing plant on the edge of the town. He added that "We are perfectly happy to do that."
He said Barnes Hill would fill much of the gap left by last week's closure of the gold mine.
Gold mine operator BCD Resources is expected to continue gold extraction, from existing ore stockpiles, at its bacterial oxidation plant for at least two years.
Sydney based Proto listed on the Australian Stock Exchange last year and secured a mining licence and equipment finance for the new mine.
Mr Heap said that BCD's closure should enable Proto to save money by taking on BCD's power infrastructure, water supply and other assets. Mr Heap said the change of plan meant Proto had to re-start its development application process, which would put back construction by up to six months.
Proto plans to dig down through an iron ore cap before it reaches its target, nickel and cobalt bearing laterite ore.
Mr Heap said the company saw itself as a new style of miner. He said a company priority was to spread wealth and good will around the community, and to be highly profitable.
Mr Heap said the company was putting a lot of resources into communications with locals, including environmental groups.