Apollo gains access to Woomera Defence Area

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Apollo Minerals has entered into a Deed of Access (“DoA”) with the Australian Department of Defence that allows the company to explore the full extents of its Commonwealth Hill property located within the Woomera Defence Area in South Australia.

Apollo is one of the first exploration companies to be granted access for mineral exploration since the Commonwealth Government announced plans to adopt the recommendations of the Hawke Review which were published in May 2011.

The key recommendation of the Hawke Review was that a co-working arrangement be implemented between Defence and the natural resources industry in which both industries can operate within the Woomera Defence Area.

 “This is a very important milestone for Apollo and allows us to begin field activities in what is rapidly shaping up as Australia’s new iron ore mining frontier,” Apollo Minerals chief operating officer Dominic Tisdell said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Apollo has been very pleased with the co-operative approach of all parties involved in the implementation of the new access framework and looks forward to contributing to the successful development of this important defence and mineral province.

“These recent changes to the Woomera Defence Area access regime give Apollo, and many other mining and exploration companies, the surety they need to invest in these high potential projects for the good of their shareholders and ultimately, the good of the State.”

The DoA allows Apollo to enter and work within the WDA, subject to the company providing notification of timing for access, people entering and of equipment to be used within the area.

Apollo said it expects the agreed DoA will convert into a new deed within six months, after the new WDA access framework has been agreed between the key stakeholders and fully implemented.

The company has already begun work on developing its iron ore, base and precious metals projects on the property with the first aboriginal heritage clearance survey now also complete.

Apollo said the results from the survey were another positive step for exploration and development and it anticipates building a strong relationship with the Antakarinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara, Traditional Owners of the land.

Apollo expects to soon begin preparations for its maiden JORC drilling program at Sequoia as well as the next phase of geophysics, including evaluation of the St Andrews Direct Shipping Ore style mineralisation prospect where previously drilling encountered 24 metres at 57 per cent iron, including very high grade iron of 70 per cent iron over four metres.

Mine permitting related environmental baseline studies are also expected to commence during the December quarter.