History has the potential of repeating itself in Kapunda with copper exploration and for many residents and business owners it means a chance to see their town flourish.
Mine owners Terramin Minning and Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR) SA entered an agreement earlier this month regarding the potential development of an in-situ recovery project at the site off Perry Road.
ECR will receive up to $1.8 million in funding from Thor Mining, an Australian based exploration and ASX-listed company.
According to Thor Mining chairman Mick Billing, the mine has the potential to be a “great investment for us, the residents and shareholders”.
Mr Billing explained, while there is background work to be done first, it has could support the region’s workforce.
“We know there is copper there and if we can demonstrate this, using recovery techniques, we can make money and employ people in town and our investors will be happy,” he said.
“That’s the grand plan.”
Field test work and a feasibility studies at the mine site is expected to roll out over the next three years.
Mr Billing said how environmental research was key to making sure “we don’t inadvertently have any environmental problems”.
While some concerns were raised by residents about excess water as a result of mining, Mr Billing explained plans include pumping a mild solution into the ground with the water component to be continually recycled.
“We look forward to getting stuck into this because it has the potential to be a great investment for us, residents and shareholders,” he added.
For a group of Kapunda residents, the news bring hope to the tight-knit community.
Jayne Morris from One White Kite said “It will bring more people to the community, like tourists and allow them to see the mine and give me more customers."
Kylie Black, owner of Sir John Franklin Hotel - “I back it 100 per cent because we have had a lot of negative stuff said about Kapunda and people should be backing this. We do not want to become a ghost town.”
Darril Pfitzner from Kapunda said “The reason copper came to an end because the water became a problem and no technology back in those days. They just need to be able to get rid of the water.”
Trish Burman, Auto Pro owner said “It's a great idea for the town, especially for tourism. It will snowball and support tourism, business and real estate."
Kapunda Mine background
Copper was mined from Kapunda for more than 30 years, with records revealing mining took place from 1877 through to 1912.
During its heydays, the mine produced equipment such as cornish boilers and other machinery for mines all over Australia.
It is also supplied the northern mines with transport facilities and miners.
A few Cornish miners, who were already in South Australia, were hired and mining was started in January 1843.