Mining company eyes Byron area
By PATRIZIA REIMER
FOR all he knows Syd Frost may be sitting on a diamond mine.
He'll know soon enough, if a mining company gets its application for an exploration licence at his place at Upper Main Arm approved.
The West Australian company, Nea Kameni Pty Ltd, has lodged an application with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to determine whether a 300 square kilometre area west of Byron Bay contains any diamonds, rubies or sapphires.
"You can't stop it but it's a little frustrating, I'm a little concerned they might mess with my property," Mr Frost said. "I've got some nice timber on it and I don't want them coming in and ripping up all the trees I've planted."
Owner of the mining company Gregory Pooley said the exploration was probably not going to yield any evidence of precious gems but geologically the area, which includes parts of Federal, Goonengerry, Wilsons Creek and Coorabell, was an igneous province which sometimes contained these minerals.
"There's been general rock surveys in the past but there's no real indicator that there's anything there," he said.
"I would be very, very surprised if there was anything."
The company applied for the exploration licence in May and should get approval within a few months. Shortly after it will begin negotiations with landholders to gain access for its sampling.
"We collect stream sediment samples which is a very non-invasive process and this might take six months," Mr Pooley said.
"If anything was found, which is highly unlikely, and there was any mining we'd have to pay a royalty to the government."
The company would have to apply for a two-year mining lease through the DPI if they found any minerals.
They would also have to go through the usual council or Planning Department development approval process.