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Briefcase: Business snippets from around SA


In this week’s briefcase, Hillgrove Resources is on track to raise $12 million towards re-opening its Adelaide Hills copper-gold mine, space company Myriota signs a partnership with US satellite firm Spire Gl0bal and Hickinbotham Group cements its place as the state’s biggest home builder

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Miner raises $12 million to progress Adelaide Hills reopening plan

Hillgrove Resources is on track to raise $12 million to accelerate its exploration and development activities at its Adelaide Hills copper-gold mine.

The company is looking to develop an underground mine at the former open-pit mine site at Kanmantoo about 55km east of Adelaide and is approaching a Final Investment Decision with production potentially re-commencing as early as next year.

It last week announced it had raised $10 million through a share placement and was looking to raise a further $2 million through a share placement plan with eligible shareholders, which opened on September 21.

Coupled with existing cash reserves, Hillgrove says it will emerge with about $15 million to fast track the project.

This will include a 16km drill program, a study into the preliminary capital costs and operating expenses associated with a resumption of mining and the establishment of a portal and underground drill platforms.

More than 137,000 tonnes of copper was produced at Kanmantoo between 2011 and 2020.

Hillgrove ceased large-scale mining at the open pit copper-gold mine in May 2019 and completed processing ore stockpiles there in March last year.

It entered an agreement with energy retailer AGL in April 2019 to sell the right to develop, own and operate a pumped hydro energy storage project at the site but that deal was terminated in February 2020 after conditions could not be agreed to by both parties.

The Kanmantoo site was then mothballed to preserve the processing assets, and a small core group retained to focus on growth through the advancement of the Kavanagh underground studies and the continuation of a measured exploration and development program.

The company was last month awarded a $2 million State Government grant to trial underground technology aimed at reducing the costs, carbon emissions and the number of explosions required to restart operations at its Adelaide Hills copper-gold mine.

US partnership to bolster Myriota expansion

Myriota co-founder David Haley. Picture: Rosina Possingham.

Adelaide space data company Myriota will expand its global satellite operation, partnering with US-based Spire Global to bolster its operation as it looks to progress as a leader in low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

The partnership will see Myriota’s expansion fast-tracked with support from Spire’s existing satellite network and the implementation of Spire’s low-earth orbit nanosatellites into the Myriota network.

Myriota’s technology involves tiny satellite transmitters that send low powered messages directly to a constellation of low-earth-orbit nanosatellites of its own.

However, the bolstering of its current setup will aim to increase connectivity speed and quality.

The IoT is the worldwide network of physical devices which connect to one another and the internet through the use of satellites such as those Myriota and Spire specialise in.

As part of the collaboration, Myriota’s existing coverage in Australia, New Zealand and North America will be expanded into Europe as the company works to meet increasing global IoT demand.

Myriota’s customers currently have the ability to track, monitor and locate assets part of the IoT such as vehicles, wind turbines, equipment and tools, and shipping containers.

Myriota Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Dr David Haley says the partnership with Spire is crucial to the Lot Fourteen-based company’s continued growth.

“With high demand for the Myriota Network from our partners, who are rolling out products at an ever-accelerating rate, this agreement is a game-changer for our business,” Haley said.

“By leveraging Spire’s constellation, Myriota will rapidly improve its services and enter new markets such as Europe –  Spire is a perfect partner for extending our global reach.”

Hickinbotham builds on reputation as SA’s number one

Adelaide-based developer Hickinbotham Group has again been announced as South Australians’ preferred home builder, with the construction giant named the state’s number one option by the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

Hickinbotham was the only SA builder to feature in the Top 20 detached home builders in the 2020/21 HIA-COLOURBOND steel Housing 100 Report.

The report also named Hickinbotham as Australia’s 10th-largest builder of detached residential dwellings.

Hickinbotham has significantly increased its output during the coronavirus pandemic, starting construction on 1976 new detached dwellings in 2020-21 – an increase from 1349 in the previous year.

The company has increased its response to growing demand for new housing opportunities in the past year, releasing residential land for sale at Two Wells, Roseworthy, Hackham, Moana, Hayborough and Strathalbyn.

According to the Hickinbotham Group, the builder has more than $2 billion in developments underway in SA, generating around 4000 jobs.

Hickinbotham Group Managing Director Michael Hickinbotham said the company was committed to creating jobs, homes and world-class lifestyles for South Australians, as well as supporting SA’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“Never has our commitment to South Australia been more important,” he said.

“The home building industry has a critical role in the state’s response to COVID-19, buoying confidence and stimulating trades and associated industries.”

New deal puts UniSA ahead of game

The University of South Australia has partnered with gaming giant Epic Games as it looks to increase its graduates’ job-readiness for the gaming industry.

The partnership sees UniSA become the first Australian university to join Epic Games’s Unreal Academic Partnership Program, which is designed to provide tertiary institutions access to the Unreal Engine used to create Epic’s games.

As well as creating the widely-used Unreal Engine, Epic Games is the creator of the worldwide gaming phenomenon Fortnite.

The university was accepted as a partner of the program following an assessment of its Bachelor of Creative Industries and Bachelor of IT (Games and Entertainment Design) courses, which both teach content on the Unreal Engine.

Information Technology Professorial Lead Associate Professor Stewart Von Itzstein said the partnership would help prepare students for their future careers in the gaming industry.

“It feels natural that UniSA and Epic Games form a partnership to bring one of the world’s top game engine companies together with our graduates to get them ready to bring the next generation of games to the market,” he said.

The Unreal Engine is increasingly being used outside the gaming world, with applications in architecture and film and television increasing the demand for Unreal-trained professionals, according to UniSA.

Through the partnership, UniSA teachers will have the opportunity to connect with other professionals internationally, as well as accessing exclusive training and educational resources to bolster their course content.

Business SA names Young Entrepreneur of the Year

 South Australian business owners have been recognised at a recent Business SA awards night, including the crowning of the South Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Adelaide & Hills Lawns & Gardens (AHLG) co-owner Luke Timmins was awarded the top honour after recently graduating from Business SA’s South Australian Young Entrepreneur Scheme (SAYES).

Timmins and business partner Jarrad Tait founded AHLG in 2015, providing garden maintenance and landscaping services to Greater Adelaide.

He credited SAYES with contributing to the growth of AHLG, which has seen a 53 per cent increase in profit in the past 12 months.

“It’s been a fantastic and rewarding program and it is an honour to win the award,” Timmins said.

Several other awards were announced on the night, including the Business Growth of the Year award and the Business Plan of the Year award.

 Business SA award winners

Business Plan of the Year (Joint Winner) – Blair Wickham, Wickham Marketing

Business Plan of the Year (Joint Winner) – Anthony Wilson, Nood Australia

Business Growth of the Year – Christian Canala, Vinify Wine Co

Future is Looking Bright Award – Sam Dawson, South Point Media

Mentor of the Year – Jodie Cole

SOUTHSTART move to Mad March in 2022

The organisers of Adelaide innovation conference _SOUTHSTART will move the three-day event into Mad March next year.

The event will be held from March 9-11 in 2022 two months earlier than the May scheduling this year.

This year’s event included several sessions across various city venues and a main conference at the National Wine Centre featuring more than 70 entrepreneurs, investors, technologists and creatives speaking about their experiences across Australia.

“We’re coming back to deliver experiences that will stand to serve you, our community & our collective approach to the future,” the event organisers said in a ‘save the date’ announcement last week.

“We’ve positioned ourselves in the middle of festival season in Kaurna Country – bringing our unique blend of conversation, knowledge and ideas, to the hospitality and frivolity that takes over our fine city.

“As a bonus for you creative souls – our festival will conclude at the opening of the WOMADelaide Music & Arts Festival. Woop!”

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