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The Nelson Photo News



The Search for Buller Minerals

The immediate key to future development of the Buller area seems to lie with its coal deposits. But there is wealth in its timber and mineral resources too. Buller Minerals have been exploring the Westport ilmenite deposit to establish reserves and have conducted pilot plant tests to establish feasibility and determine suitable separation techniques.


This is the Gemco rig, which has a rotary drill for drilling through soft sand and sand dunes. It is operating in the Nine Mile Beach area, about 10 miles from Westport


Lab technician Christine Halligan is involved with filtering samples to separate heavy minerals


This percussion drill is being used in the pakihi lands of the Virgin Flat area, also about 10 miles from Wesport. It is drilling through 15-20ft of cemented sand