NEW deposits of bauxite have been discovered north of Launceston.
The site, near Bell Bay, is likely to be the third Tasmanian mine site for Australian Bauxite and brings the state's total identified deposits to 9.2 million tonnes.
Drilling near the Bell Bay area, labelled ''PR-130'', showed mainly high grade ''direct shipping'' bauxite, according to Australian Bauxite chief executive officer Ian Levy.
The company has initiated operations at Bald Hill, near Campbell Town, and has conducted drilling at another site west of Launceston called ''DL-130''.
Mr Levy said drilling at DL-130 has ceased for 2015, and revised resource estimation will be carried out in the coming months.
“This discovery is a result of ABx’s proprietary exploration technology and efficient drilling by the ABx exploration team,'' Mr Levy said.
"Bauxite potential in this area was downgraded by early explorers because surface samples were low-grade.
''ABx encountered similar surface results but the ABx exploration technology showed that good bauxite should exist in this area.
''So ABx drilled 68 reconnaissance drill holes and the 18th hole discovered this excellent bauxite in an ideal location.”
Once metal testing at the site is complete, the company will begin exploring other known sites within its portside production area.
A series of base line environmental studies will be run in spring to test for socio-environmental barriers to development.
Bauxite is a principal ore of aluminium.