The Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project focuses on a high-grade area of the Glenaladale ore body about 20km northwest of Bairnsdale.
Kalbar proposes to extract 170Mt of ore to produce around 8Mt of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) over 15-20 years.
Heavy mineral concentrate is the valuable heavy mineral that has been extracted from the ore but has not yet been processed into final mineral products.
The mineral products – zircon, ilmenite, rutile and rare earths – are in high global demand for use in communications, transport, medical technology and renewable energy.
Following completion of an Environment Effects Statement (EES) and its submission to the Victorian government, project approvals may occur in late 2021, enabling the project to commence construction in 2022.
Employment and Economic Benefits
The project will provide a significant boost to employment and economic development in East Gippsland.
Construction employment for the project will be approximately 200 jobs.
During its 15 to 20-year operation, the project will create up to 200 direct jobs on the mine site, injecting wages of $15-20 million into the economy each year and generating another $10 million annually in royalties and tax payments to the Victorian Government.
The capital investment required to establish the project is over $200 million. Flow-on employment due to increased demand for services is estimated to amount to an additional 150-200 jobs in the local community.
The project will use the best environmental management to avoid, minimise and manage potential environmental impacts.
An Environment Effects Statement is being prepared to identify the potential impacts and outline measures proposed to manage them.
The mine will be progressively rehabilitated to return the land to agriculture and native vegetation.
Minerals produced by the project are essential to the production of renewable energy technology, including wind turbines and electric vehicles.
We propose to use modern mining methods to extract the ore.
Put simply, the sand is removed using conventional earth moving equipment, and the minerals are extracted using gravity separation and water in much the same way as gold panning.
No harmful chemicals are used in the mining or the mineral separation process.
About 95% of the mined material is returned to the void, and land rehabilitation continuously happens as the mining activity progresses across the site.