Support for Arno mine

OPTIMISTIC: Local liason Evelyn Poole, Renascor managing director David Christensen and projects general manager Andrew Reeves at Arno Bay.
OPTIMISTIC: Local liason Evelyn Poole, Renascor managing director David Christensen and projects general manager Andrew Reeves at Arno Bay.

Community members voiced their support for a proposed graphite mine and processing facility at Arno Bay during information sessions hosted by Renascor Resources in the town this week.

The company is in the process of securing approvals to mine the Siviour graphite deposit 15 kilometres west of the Arno Bay township.

If the project goes ahead, the company estimates a construction workforce of about 100 people will be needed.

The initial stages of operation would see 70 full-time staff employed, with later stages growing the permanent workforce to more than 100.

Projects general manager Andrew Reeves said the first session saw a bigger turnout than previous community engagement efforts, with about 15 visitors in the first couple of hours.

He said attendees were mainly interested locals and councillors, with people with a range of skills expressing interest in working at the mine.

Mr Reeves said all the feedback he had heard was positive.

"We've had nobody yet who is expressing concern with the process or proposal which is very encouraging," he said.

Local liason Evelyn Poole from Port Lincoln said the mine could provide an opportunity for Arno Bay locals who had moved for work to return.

"I think a lot of the sentiment is a lot of people want to come back," she said.

The project recently received a potential funding boost after the company received a letter of interest from insurance company Atradius on behalf of the Dutch government confirming in-principle project finance support.

In a partnership with the Dutch government, Atradius offers insurance and guarantee products to projects incorporating Dutch exports.

The project qualifies for this assistance through Renascor's strategic engineering partnership with dutch company Royal IHC.

A definitive feasibility study is expected to be completed in the next quarter, which would allow progress on financing the project.

Renascor is also undergoing the second stage of regulatory approvals and hoping to get approval by the end of the year.

In a best case scenario for the company, construction would begin in 2020.