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First Development Resources feeling the energy

9 September 2022 13:54
FDR Flowers

Mining exploration is not easy.

It is time-consuming, exhausting, expensive, with a risk of hard work coming to nothing, and First Development Resources chief executive Tristan Pottas would not have it any other way.

“It is a hard industry, people need to understand it is not just turn up, drill, find, the odds are always against you, but that is the appeal,” he says.

He has seen success against the odds before, Pottas was involved with Sirius Minerals’ Woodsmith potash and polyhalite mine in his home county of Yorkshire, a project he was repeatedly told could not be done.

It was a mine underneath a national park, requiring a conveyer to ferry raw material 37 kilometres — it was Britain’s biggest mining project in decades and, once functioning, will have the island’s longest tunnel and the deepest mine in Europe.

Pottas’ boots are now on Australian soil, touring four projects across Western Australia and the Northern Territory and getting ready to engage with the market for a much-anticipated IPO.

“We are here to ensure we have everything in place so when we do list and the capital is available we can deploy it immediately on the ground,” he explains.

He has explored Australia before and speaks with a contagious excitement to be back in the country’s junior exploration scene.

“I remember getting off the plane and the smell of eucalyptus hit me like a punch in the face and I just thought — ‘I am back’,

“You are surrounded by people in our industry who do not see risk, they see opportunity, understand challenges and recognise what we are doing is not easy — it is amazing how that energy gives you motivation.”

Since joining FDR, he has been straight to work putting together a widely skilled team and building up targets for gold and copper in Western Australia and uranium and rare earth elements in the Northern Territory.

Pottas maintains as much as you can shore up targets you will never truly know what you will find, sometimes you hit a cloud of dust, and others you strike into the world’s hottest commodity.

Reconnaissance at FDR’s Selta project in the Northern Territory has found evidence of possible lithium mineralisation and, with both uranium and rare earth territory in its portfolio, have the wind at its back to build around future facing resources.

“Battery-critical metals, once you get a sniff it is amazing because these are the metals the world will need as we move towards this greener cleaner future,

“And it is us junior explorers taking on the bulk of the risk in a grand irony that for a new world clean energy order, we will need more metals and more mines.”

And now, with his grand tour almost wrapped up, Pottas is just looking forward to hit the ground running as soon as possible.

“You have to believe you are gonna make this discovery and remain optimistic, we are looking for the ultimate needle in a haystack.”

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