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tasmania news pageheader 2018

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Mine owners strike gold

 Beaconsfield mine

The new owner of the Beaconsfield Gold Mine is celebrating after $30 million worth of the precious metal was discovered in a nearby swamp.

NQ Minerals was told to clean up the sludge wasteland as part of its agreement to purchase the mothballed facility for just $2 million last year.

The red slime has been deposited by water flushed from the mine going back as far as the 1870s, and is now to return to a natural wetlands.

Up until now it had been tested for many other metals and minerals, but not gold. 

Testing showed 3.2 grams per tonne, compared to the average mine in Australia which is 1.5 grams per tonne.

As an extra benefit, they won't have to drill or blast it out given it's already small enough.

"It's just a good bonus given that we were going to clean it up anyway. It can go through the newly refurbished plant that we're going to be starting shortly. And given that the longer term view is to get back underground this the perfect staging for us," Executive Director Roger Jackson told Tasmania Talks.

A local contractor is ready to start moving the material as soon as they're allowed.

"To be able to make jobs and provide work for service companies within the region is a really elegant solution to a legacy problem."

The Beaconsfield mine became a household name during the 2006 rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb.