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09/01 - Prospector cashed up for the daily grind

09 Jan, 2010 10:34 AM

Resources company Cortona is about to begin ''aggressive drilling campaigns'' at its proposed Majors Creek gold mine after raising $10.3million in capital. The money will go towards a broader feasibility study and the planning process for the 280ha Dargues Reef mine site, near Braidwood. The study will take about 10 months and, if it and environmental approvals are successful, the company plans to build a $30 million underground mine that would begin gold production next year.Two drilling rigs are scheduled to arrive on site on Monday.

Majors Creek community liaison committee chairman Bill Waterhouse said there was a diversity of opinion in the village about the mine, from ''very strongly anti to what I would call guardedly optimistic'', but the committee had not formed an official view yet.''Right now it is a little rural village. In 12 months' time it will be a mining town and that is of significance.''He said some people were concerned about the mine's impact on diminishing water supplies, the potential for excessive noise, damage to roads, and ''the visual impact on what is a sleepy little hollow that used to be a busy gold mining area 150 years ago, but now is quite a historic little village''. The committee was surveying residents to build a broader picture of views on the proposed mine.

Cortona executives were celebrating the completion of the capital raising yesterday and could not be contacted, but managing director Peter van der Borgh issued a statement saying it was a terrific outcome. ''We now have sufficient funds to achieve all of our current objectives as set out in the rights issue prospectus.

The Dargues Reef [definitive feasibility study] and planning approvals process are under way, and aggressive drilling campaigns at Dargues Reef in NSW and North Monger in WA are about to commence,'' he said.

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