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sa to spend $120 billion infrastructure by ??

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    BHP Billiton's long-awaited Olympic Dam expansion may have taken the headlines, but evidence is mounting that South Australia is on the cusp of an even bigger mining renaissance.

    The state's resources industry is expected to spend more than $120 billion on infrastructure by 2021/22 to support a planned jump in mine developments, according to the SA Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME).

    SACOME chief executive Jason Kuchel said 18 mining projects were now either in production, under development or approved for development in SA, compared to less than a dozen around 2008.

    By the beginning of next decade, the number of mines in SA could approach 40, SACOME figures show.

    Mr Kuchel said the world-class Gawlor Craton - which hosts huge iron oxide, copper, gold and uranium (IOCGU) ore bodies including Olympic Dam - was set to make the state "the next big copper province in the world".

    "It does appear that area is very, very rich in minerals," he told AAP on Tuesday.

    The state's iron ore sector is also growing fast after more than a century in the doldrums.

    The first iron ore operation in SA for over 100 years, IMX Resources' Cairn Hill mine near Coober Pedy, began exports in December.

    And in February, a group of iron-ore explorers including Minotaur Exploration began talking up the emergence of a potential major new magnetite iron ore mining province on the NSW-SA border, south west of Broken Hill.

    Dubbed the Braemar province, it said to have the potential to sustain iron ore mining operations for up to 100 years.

    The Braemar Iron Alliance, which includes Carpentaria Exploration and Havilah Resources, have called for the development of a major deepwater port on SA's Spencer Gulf to enable exports from the area.

    Separately, Centrex Metals plans to develop a $180 million bulk commodities export port at Sheep Hill.

    Centrex Metals was among companies identified by Mr Kuchel as being "next in the pipeline" of junior explorers undertaking new iron ore mine developments in the state.

    He also singled out Iron Road as a standout explorer and attributed the surge in mineral exploration in SA in recent years to the Rann government's Plan for Accelerating Exploration incentive scheme.

    The scheme assisted prospector Rudy Gomez in his discovery of the large Carrapateena copper and gold deposit, 250km south-east of Prominent Hill, which OZ Minerals now holds and expects to put into production in seven to eight years.

    While the market was abuzz with the Olympic Dam news, a Rio Tinto deal in SA on Monday was also significant, Mr Kuchel said.

    Rio Tinto inked a deal that gave it the right to earn a majority interest in the Vulcan IOCGU prospect held by Tasman Resources, 30km from Olympic Dam.

    Rio Tinto had shown only minor interest in the state for many years but the Tasman deal represented a major exploration investment by the mining giant in SA, Mr Kuchel said.

    "The (geophysical) signature of the anticipated deposit is larger than that of Olympic Dam," he said.

    "I think it is telling when you have a company like Rio Tinto that obviously sees enough and has good information that they actually want to get in on the act, so to speak."

    link,
    http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/SA-development-plans-heat-aap-2140607061.html;_ylt=ArVDvpDrGaDa2wOAsdlIxkrCWo9G;_ylu=X3oDMTE4N2c5ZWk0BHBvcwM5BHNlYwN5ZmlUb3BTdG9yaWVzBHNsawNzYW1pbmVkZXZlbG8-?x=0
 
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