Legendary Aussie prospector search for space junk turns to gold

Mark Creasy, the lucky Australian prospector who stumbled on a large nickel deposit while searching for the wreckage of a space station, has struck it rich again.

Down Under’s richest living prospector got US$167 million richer last week after swapping his remaining 30% stake in the Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper discovery, for cash and shares in Sirius Resources (ASX:SIR).

In a statement, the company —planning to develop a new nickel mine in Western Australia— said this move would make it easier to secure funding to develop both deposits.

It added it expects to derive significant financial and timing benefits from having 100% control of both proposed mines, and to achieve further operational cost savings by avoiding the need for a production joint venture.

Creasy identified the potential of the nickel deposit in 1979, when he drove deep into Australia's red centre to search for debris from the Skylab space station, reports The Australian.

Soon enough he realized a joint venture between Newmont, WMC (since taken over) and Anglo American had struck nickel and copper in the area years earlier. He staked out a position around two decades later, when nickel prices climbed.

He did find some debris, two oxygen cylinders that he has for display at his Perth office.

The Australian reports that Creasy’s search for the next big discovery is far from over:

"I've got a very major exploration program under way, which I've had going since 1968," he was quoted as saying.

Image by PPR Australia, via YouTube.