Beacon Hill Resources has been granted a mining lease by the Government of Tasmania, Australia, to develop the Arthur River magnesite project in north-west Tasmania.

Beacon Hill executive chairman Justin Lewis said the mining lease will allow the next stage of development at the Arthur River project, including the beginning of a drilling programme before the end of 2010.

Beacon has completed flora, fauna and Aboriginal heritage surveys to proceed with designing the initial mine plan and associated drilling programmes.

The group has also developed a drilling programme to increase the measured and inferred resource of 39 million tonnes to add value to the magnesite resource.

“The granting of the Lease also allows us to progress our discussions with potential off-take and joint venture partners in regard to the construction of a calcination plant,” said Lewis.

The drilling programme is expected to begin by the end of 2010.