Emu Nickel to revive antimony mine

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Emu Nickel is looking to revive a NSW antimony mine, which also contains gold, and start production by 2013.

In a statement Emu said it had signed an agreement with Straits Resources and Ancoa, a company Emu plans to acquire, for the sale of the Hillgrove mine near Armidale in New South Wales.

The company said it planned to start production within 12 months, with the mine having enough reserves to run for nine years.

A possible extension could add a further seven years to the site.

"Globally, the Hillgrove mine is one of the largest Antimony projects ready to go into production at a time when the quality and quantity of the world’s major producer, China, is rapidly declining," the company said in a statement.

Chinese production currently accounts for 77 per cent of world antimony supply.

Hillgrove was previously put on care and maintenance in 2009 due to processing problems.

Emu said it was planning on producing two concentrates from the mine rather than pure metal to avoid the previous processing issues.

Antimony is most commonly used as a flame retardant, but is also used in alloys for batteries, bearings, and solders.

Hillgrove has a base production level of 4,500 tonnes of antimony and 25,000 ounces of gold in concentrate.

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