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Briefcase: Business Snippets from around South Australia


In this week’s briefcase, uranium exploration recommences at a South Australian site, the latest on the local property market, and Adelaide technology set to assist in Ukraine.

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South Australian property market steady against headwinds

Newly released data for the 2023 September quarter from the Real Estate Institute of South Australia shows the state’s property market continues to hold firm against headwinds such as high inflation and interest rates.

The results demonstrated that SA posted a 2.40 per cent median house price increase from the previous quarter and an 11.11 per cent increase from the same quarter last year.

REISA CEO Andrea Heading said that while the economic situation and the traditionally slower third quarter impacted the volume of sales, consumer confidence and optimism were high.

“It is clear that purchasers are still willing to enter the real estate market and to pay premium prices for properties that are realistically and transparently priced,” Heading said.

“While there was a drop in the sales volume, our members advise us that interest and attendance at open inspections are still strong with the fundamentals of South Australia’s real estate market remaining robust.”

The data found South Australia overall posted a 2.4 per cent median house price increase from the previous quarter and metropolitan Adelaide experienced 1.71 per cent growth from the previous quarter, with the median prices sitting at $640,000 and $712,000 respectively.

Suburbs with the largest growth over the last 12 months were Bridgewater, Somerton Park and Plympton Park, while the top-selling suburbs in terms of recorded sales over the September quarter were Mount Barker, Morphett Vale and Parafield Gardens.

– David Simmons

Marmota re-commences uranium exploration

Mining company Marmota last week announced its intention to restart exploration at its Junction Dam Uranium Project in South Australia.

Marmota said previous exploration was “highly successful” but was halted due to market conditions for the mineral after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

The company said the project had a current uranium resource of 5.4 million pounds (just over 2400 tonnes). It is located near the Honeymoon Uranium mine that recently restarted production after owner Boss Energy rebooted activities on the site 80 kilometres north-west of Broken Hill.

“The value of uranium in the Yarramba Paleochannel is self-evident from the market capitalisation of Boss Energy which currently exceeds $1.5 billion,” Marmota said.

Marmota chairman Colin Rose said the Junction Dam site was “one of the most exciting uranium deposits in South Australia”.

“The future for Marmota looks very promising with both Aurora Tank gold and Junction Dam uranium showing the potential to be outstanding deposits,” Rose said.

“The timing is also perfect for Marmota, with Aurora Tank gold reaching an advanced stage and focus there shifting from exploration to the production pathway (notably carrying out metallurgical test work to optimise low-cost heap leach production), and with the uranium market fundamentals and sentiment dramatically increasing.”

– David Simmons

Adelaide tech to assist in Ukraine

An Adelaide company will see its technology deployed to Ukraine as part of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s newly announced $20 million assistance package to the war-torn state.

More than $1 million will be spent on Micro-X’s Rover mobile X-rays for Ukrainian frontlines and civilian hospitals.

“This contribution will provide Ukraine with some of the best capabilities in the world, while investing in Australia’s sovereign defence industry and technology sector,” Albanese said last week.

Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said Micro-X’s tech “can provide life-saving assistance for Ukrainian personnel on the battlefield”.

Micro-X said it was “proud to be delivering on our purpose to create revolutionary imaging to better lives”.

– David Simmons

Martin Westall, Nat Cook, Blair Boyer and Todd Roberts at Reynella East Primary School.

Martin Westwell, Nat Cook, Blair Boyer and Todd Roberts at Reynella East Primary School.

Credit Union SA introduces new School Impact Program

An initiative to replace Credit Union SA’s School Community Rewards program will provide up to 50 schools statewide per year with funding for projects worth between $2000 and $20,000.

Announced last week, the School Impact Program will fund a broad range of projects, from equipment and facilities to teacher training to experiences for students.

“We are a South Australian organisation wanting to invest into our state’s education community for the benefit of all South Australians, from students through to teachers and families – the whole school community,” Credit Union SA chief executive Todd Roberts said.

“Our School Impact Program is committed to giving school communities over $1 million in vital funds across the next ten years.”

Funding applications will open in Term 1, 2024, with payment in Term 2. It will reopen in Term 3 with payment in Term 4.

More information can be found on the Credit Union SA website.

– David Simmons

Argonaut Resources considers name change

In line with a pivot towards uranium following the acquisition of two South Australian mineral mining projects, Argonaut Resources has proposed a new name.

The company will seek shareholder approval on 28 November to change its name to Orpheus Uranium.

“The requisite approvals, which are consistent with the company’s stated strategy of focusing on its uranium assets, will be sought at the 2023 AGM,” Argonaut said.

Argonaut acquired two uranium projects earlier this month.

The first – Mundaerno Project – is 12 kilometres south of the Honeymoon Uranium mine owned by Boss Energy, while the second is an exploration release area containing five uranium occurrences.

– David Simmons

Kim Syrus and Lynton

Kim Syrus and Lynton at GreenInc’s launch. Photo: supplied.

Bedford Group launches new social enterprise

South Australia’s largest employer of people living with a disability, the not-for-profit Bedford Group, has launched a new social enterprise offering landscape construction and horticultural services across metropolitan Adelaide.

GreenInc is a culmination of social enterprises offering employment opportunities to people of all abilities and providing skill-building and career pathways to open employment for people living with disability.

Bedford has previously worked with councils and developers through its Adelaide Property and Gardens business that has worked on projects such as Park Warrior Playground at Almond Grove, Munno Para and Lightsview Adventure Playground.

The addition of GreenInc sees increased capability for large-scale landscape construction projects.

“We’re excited to be providing landscape construction jobs and apprenticeships for people of all abilities and invite industry partners and potential employees to contact us to discuss how we can work together,” said GreenInc general manager Jason O Donohue.

– Elisabeth Marie

Unity Housing's new complex in Bowden

Unity Housing’s new complex in Bowden. Photo: supplied.

Community housing provider moves to Bowden

Unity Housing has moved to a new $11 million purpose-built headquarters on the corner of Gibson and Second streets in Bowden, bringing together staff from the community housing provider’s five offices to one central location.

The 2000 square metre, three-storey complex will also provide space for two ground-floor retail outlets.

The company’s headquarters is the first of several purpose-built commercial offices envisioned for Bowden as part of Renewal SA’s master-planned urban infill site.

Renewal SA executive director of residential project delivery and assets Shane Wingard said the development was an exciting milestone for Bowden.

“An expanding local workforce will boost daytime activity and foot traffic for local businesses and strengthen the precinct as a community where people can live, work, and play,” he said.

– Elisabeth Marie

Meredith Phillips has worked for Kimberly-Clark since 1997. Photo: supplied.

Kimberly-Clark’s Millicent Mill employees join Quarter Century Club

Kimberly-Clark Australia recently inducted 45 Millicent-based employees to its Quarter Century Club, celebrating 25 years of service to the manufacturing company.

They join hundreds of employees who have worked for the US company’s Millicent Mill, with 395 inductees since the Quarter Century Club’s establishment in 1984.

According to Kimberly-Clark, 50 per cent of its employees stay with the company for more than 15 years, with almost 30 per cent of Millicent Mill’s workforce part of the exclusive club.

New inductee and crew leader Meredith Phillips said she is delighted to join the club, having started with Kimberly-Clark Australia in 1997.

“I remember hearing about the Quarter Century Club when I first started here and was amazed to think that people would choose to work at the same place for so long, never imagining that one day I would be part of it,” Phillips said.

“I like to think that the effort of the club’s members over the decades has contributed to the ongoing success of the mill and I’m proud to have been a part of that.”

– David Simmons

With new funding, Wander plans to expand their accommodation pods further into South Australia. Photo: supplied.

Wander locks in funds for accommodation pod scaling plan

Sydney-based Wander has reached the minimum target on its crowdfunding campaign to expand the accommodation pod business further into South Australia.

It follows the success of Cassandra Sasso’s company in regional SA, notably on Kangaroo Island.

Wander secured the backing from Sam McDonagh – the former director and country manager of Airbnb ANZ – in its crowdfunding campaign via Birchal. As part of his investment, McDonagh will become an advisor to founder Sasso.

Sasso said the Flinders Ranges was on her expansion wishlist, as were other parts of the state like the many wine regions and coastal locations that would complement her WanderPods.

The pods – made in Adelaide – strike a middle ground between luxury hotel, Airbnb and off-grid tiny home living, with Sasso saying they have implemented the best of all three to create a “higher value version”.

– David Simmons

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