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By Brian Gomez

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National,) - Goldminex Resources, which only listed on the Australian Stock Exchange last week, has outlined an ambitious program in PNG’s Owen Stanley Range, where no systematic modern exploration has taken place.

[PIR editor’s note: The Owen Stanley Range, crossed by the famous Kokoda Trail, is north of Port Moresby in mainland Papua New Guinea. Goldminex Resources is an Australian mineral exploration company.]

Chairman Adrian Fleming told the PNG mining seminar Goldminex was planning to spend AU$16 million (PGK42 million) of the AU$22 million [PGK58 million] it had raised over the next two years in an area of more than 8,000 sq km that a helicopter could reach from Port Moresby in one hour.

"We hope to drill one or more targets by the middle of next year," he said, noting that company geologists had already identified three prospects at Veri Veri (nickel sulfide), Foasi (copper-gold) and Gossan Hill (gold-copper).

Mr. Fleming made it clear that Goldminex was optimistic about making a giant discovery.

"We are in a similar structural setting to Porgera, Ok Tedi and Grasberg (West Papua)," he told an audience of more than 300 people attending the annual PNG mining seminar.

He said historical records from Australia’s bureau of mineral resources showed that BMR in 1967 had tested a boulder from a river in the area that contained 34 percent nickel.

"It is incredible that it has taken some 40 years for someone to go back to the river to see where this stuff was coming from."

Company geologists have since assayed other very high grade nickel and gold samples in the area.

Fleming said the only analogy to the Goldminex areas was the Avebury deposit in Tasmania, presently being developed by Allegiance Mining, "but we have very much higher grades."

He said Goldminex was focusing its efforts on PNG because it was "a very prospective part of the world and was still relatively unexplored."

PNG also had a favorable mining investment climate with mining legislation that works well, he said.

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