The historic Fairview phosphate mine and the old Robertstown copper mine near the copper mining camp of Burra Burra have been taken up as mineral licence applications by Archer Exploration.

Archer has joined the trend of uranium explorers that listed in the past two years with Australia's great uranium prospecting revival who - in the more sobering climate today for uranium prospectors with greenfield targets to diversify into other minerals.

The Fairview phosphate mine last operated in 1903 and yielded 100 tonnes of hand-picked phosphate grading 25% P203.

Archer said the dramatic growth in demand for phosphate-based fertiliser has seen the price of phosphate rock increase from a level of $US47/tonne in 2005 to around $US350-400/t today.

Exploration manager Wade Bullenhagen said copper, gold and silver mineralisation has been reported on the licence area and will complement Archer's existing manganese, iron and copper projects at Carappee Hill and West Roxby in South Australia.

He said the old workings were close to existing major infrastructure and was only 15 kilometres south of the town of Burra.

The company said Carappee Hill, on Eyre Peninsula, contains iron ore grades of up to 57% and manganese grades of up to 52.8%.