Altona gets FIRB nod

GETTING THERE: Altona's Cloncurry Copper Project near Mt Roseby has gained another important approval.
GETTING THERE: Altona's Cloncurry Copper Project near Mt Roseby has gained another important approval.

Another piece of the jigsaw has fallen in place for the Cloncurry Copper Project.

Australian based owners Altona Mining Limited say the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has given its approval for the project which is being done as a joint venture with a Chinese-government owned body.

Altona had agreed with Sichuan Railway Investment Group (“SRIG”) for SRIG to provide two-thirds of funding of the Cloncurry Project through its Hong Kong subsidiary China Sichuan International Investment Limited (CSII).

Last week Altona told the Australian Stock Exchange CSII had advised their application to the FIRB has been approved, which was a major condition on closing the deal.

Some Chinese approvals are still outstanding on the project which is 75km north-west of Cloncurry. SRIG (through CSII) still needs the approval of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council of the Sichuan Province (SASAC).

SRIG have advised that SASAC has completed its approval process and has forwarded SRIG’s application to the Provincial Government for its approval.

CSII and SRIG are then required to file details of the transaction together with advice of relevant approvals with two national bodies: the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commence.

These approvals are expected by the end of this financial year.

The joint venturers plan a 7 million-tonne-a-year open pit copper-gold mine and concentrator with an initial mine life of 13 years. 

The first development envisaged is the seven million tonnes a year Little Eva open pit copper-gold mine and concentrator. 

In March Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt, said if the plans came to fruition the project would generate 300 construction jobs and 280 direct ongoing production jobs. 

“This is a project that would inject new job opportunities and new economic activity into the north-west,” Mr Pitt said.