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Wednesday, 8 December 1965

Mr FAIRBAIRN - The silver-lead-zinc mine to which I think the honorable gentleman refers, and which is to be mined by United Uranium, is not a new mine; it is one which was originally mined about 20 years ago and the high quality ore was taken out. It has now been drilled and deposits have proved to be fairly extensive. I understand that some of the lower quality ore is about to be mined. However, this is not one of the very large discoveries. I am afraid, as the honorable gentleman realises, that it is quite impossible for me to detail, in answer to a question without notice, all the discoveries that have occurred in Australia during the last 12 months, because we are going through a second period of discovery which probably exceeds the discoveries of the gold rush. If the honorable gentleman puts the question on the notice paper I will see that he gets a full reply. 1 can tell him, however, that minerals look like playing a very important part in contributing to Australia's export income. This year, £120 million worth of minerals were exported, and the Bureau of Mineral Resources has estimated that in five years' time the value of our exports of minerals will have risen to £280 million per annum.

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