Antique maps from the 1800's could revive historic copper region

A junior exploration company is using land surveys from the 1870's to locate copper deposits in South Australia's historic Burra mining region.

The Australian reports that Phoenix Copper (ASX:PNX) hopes to use the old maps to uncover major copper deposits in the area around Burra, which is Australia's oldest mining town and was once the source for 10% of the world's copper

The land surveys were prepared by mine captain Robert Sanders in 1873 towards the end of Burra's heyday as one of Australia's most lucrative mining communities.

Burra first rose to prominence in the mining industry following the discovery of outcroppings of copper by two shepherds in 1845.

By 1850 the Burra region's Monster Mine was Australia's largest commercial mining operation, producing 23,000 tonnes of ore and supplying 10% of global copper.

Phoenix chief geologist Mark Manly says that despite a second period of mining activity in the 1970's the region has been little explored since the development of modern drill rigs.

On the basis of the 19th century land surveys Phoenix has commenced drilling less than a kilometre from the Monster Mine, with the hope of resurrecting the town's historic mining industry.