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Interest in the mineralisation of the Naracoopa area of King Island, off the coast of Tasmania, began with the search for tin ore deposits. High grade deposits of tin were first located at Milford Beach adjacent to the mouth of the Fraser River. It was then discovered that heavy mineral sand deposits continued north from this area to the north of Cowper Point where the Sea Elephant River meets the eastern coast of the island.

Placer Mining Methods Used to Recover Mineral Sand From the Naracoopa Deposits

It is recorded that placer mining for mineral sand took place at Naracoopa as early as 1905. Placer mining is actually surface mining and can be anything from a prospector using a pan and water to find heavy minerals through to large open cut mining methods. Placer mining is what takes place when minerals are located in water such as streams, creeks or rivers. The sand is washed, the looser particles at the top are discarded and the heavier minerals are collected from the bottom. The placer mining that took place north of the mouth of the Fraser River at Naracoopa in 1905 is recorded to have produced 5 tonnes of Cassiterite and one and a half ounces of gold. Heavy mineral mining was carried out on the beaches of Lanherne, Milford and Sea at Naracooper between 1969 and 1977. During this period around 23,000 tonnes of zircon and 20,000 tonnes of rutile were recovered.

More Recent Mining Operations at Naracoopa Start off Removing old Stockpiles

In more recent times Dr Alan J Bond (DAJB) has been taking a keen interest in the Naracoopa mineral sands deposit and has begun pumping the sand from an existing stockpile to barges moored offshore at Fraser Beach. This has meant the construction of two 8.5 metre deep by 16 metre diameter slurry pump pits with sheet piled walls. Both pits have been built close to each other and within 500 metres from the Fraser River and 25 metres from the beach.

The heavy mineral sand from the stockpile is placed in the pits, along with sea water, to form a slurry comprising between 20 and 30 percent sand component. A slurry pump suspended above the pits subsequently pumps the slurry from the pits and onto barges moored at the nearby loading facility. The loading facility consisting of six pylons and a steel mesh platform. While one of the slurry pits is being emptied onto a barge the other is being filled with mineral sand from the stockpile.

Extensive Deposits now Producing 200,000 Tonnes of Heavy Mineral Sand a Year

The heavy mineral sand deposits at Naracoopa are made up of extensive sand dunes and beach sand that form an undulating pattern between 20 and 25 metres above sea level and 500 metres wide. The sand also contains peat with a clay base at about 10 metres depth. The average thickness of the heavy mineralised sand is about seven metres. The operation is producing around 200,000 tonnes of heavy mineral sands each year.

Naracoopa Mineral sands

Interest in the mineralisation of the Naracoopa area of King Island, off the coast of Tasmania, began with the search for tin ore deposits.In more recent times Dr Alan J Bond (DAJB) has been taking a keen interest in the Naracoopa mineral sands deposit and has begun pumping the sand from more


Naracoopa Mineral sands
7 Short St
Naracoopa, TAS 7256


Phone03 6461 1391

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