LISTEN: 'Develop the project': Boyne mine sells for $1m

A PRIVATE mining company has bought a little-known limestone mine with "very high quality limestone" that is tucked away in the Boyne Valley for $1 million.

The site, located 20km south of Calliope on the Calliope-Monto Rd, has sat dormant since ASX listed company Metallica Minerals Limited bought it prior to 2003.

The new owners put a $100,000 deposit on the site in November, with the deal expected to be finalised in 4-6 weeks once they pay the $900,000 balance.

Metallica’s CEO Simon Slesarewich said the private company chose to buy the site after they “funded their own drilling” to test the site’s potential.

 

The site of Boyne Limestone Project.
The site of Boyne Limestone Project.

Metallica's CFO John Haley, who joined the company in 2003, said founding managing director Andrew Gillies, a geologist with a sharp eye for mineral rich land, saw the potential in the site when it just a "vacant block of land" without an exploration permit.

Mr Haley said it's just one of many sites across Queensland Mr Gillies purchased after identifying their potential.

He said the company then bought an exploration licence before buying a mining lease.

Metallica initially banked on a "major development" occurring in Gladstone or nearby that would need limestone, as the cost of transporting limestone -- a heavy resource -- outweighs the return.

"You have to have a market nearby or a low cost transportation in mind or else the buyer down the road will beat you," he said.

He said while he was "quite curious" to know what new opportunities for limestone in the area the new owners had identified, he wasn't privy to that information.

He said even if Metallica did want to develop the site, it doesn't have the "substantial capital" needed to develop it into a mine, which he estimates would cost $15 million for a small mine or over $30 million for a large mine.

Metallica's share price is just $0.03, but because the new owner is a private company, he doesn't know how much they would be able to invest. But he said the "substantial" price tag on the mine suggested the new owners have plans to mine.

"You don't go and spend a million dollars and go and sit on it," he said.

It echoes Mr Slesarewich, who said the price along with the new owner’s background in mining limestone and cement materials, suggested it had plans to begin mining.

 

"A way to view it, is that they have paid a reasonable price, so I can only assume that they're going to develop the project," he said.

Mr Slesarewich, who became CEO of the ASX listed company 10 months ago, said the sale was part of a shift back to Metallica's "core assets", mainly bauxite extraction in north Queensland. 

His company recently sold two other limestone assets for $870,000, much less than the Boyne Limestone Project. 



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