Project Bulletin

Project Bulletin - 13 December 2019

   Friday 13th December, 2019

Kalbar is in the final stages of completing the Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project.

The EES will go to public exhibition and review in 2020. If the project is found to meet the required environmental standards, it will have substantial benefits for East Gippsland and Victoria.

Mineral sands - a valuable resource

Mineral sands and rare earths mined in Australia are an important and valuable resource for global production of goods used in the household, communications, mobile technology, medical and transport applications, and renewable energy production.

Minerals in every household

Titanium dioxide is an essential component of consumer products such as paint, plastics and paper and is used as a pigment in toothpaste, sunscreen, cosmetics, and food items. Zircon gives ceramic tiles their brilliant opacity, whiteness and brightness. Its unique properties include heat and wear resistance, stability, opacity, hardness and strength.

Medical technology

Titanium is used in surgical and dental implants and joint replacements. Rare earths play a vital part in modern medical technology such as MRI machines.

Transport and aerospace industries

Alloys of Titanium are used in the aerospace industry, in aircraft frames and engines where strong, lightweight, temperature resistant materials are needed.

Mobile technology and computing

Rare earth metals and their alloys are used in many electronic and communications devices that people use every day such as computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, and mobile phones.

Essential for the world’s renewable energy

Rare earths extracted in mineral sands mining are essential ingredients in the manufacture of wind turbines and electric vehicles.

Global demand for rare earths is increasing as the growth in renewable energy continues to address climate change. If we want to continue clean energy production, we need to produce rare earths.

The annual production from the Fingerboards Project could supply enough rare earths for the construction of approximately 2.8 million electric vehicles, or wind turbines producing 14GW of power, enough for 4.5 million homes.

Economic benefits for East Gippsland and Victoria

200 jobs

The Fingerboards Project is expected to employ approximately 200 people during construction and 200 people during its 15-20 years of operations.

These are real jobs, whether through direct employment with Kalbar or as contractors.

Many of the jobs require skills that are available in East Gippsland or can be gained through training and apprenticeships.

Kalbar is working with training organisations in the region to identify training opportunities so that we can maximise local employment on the project.

$225 million annual increase in Gross Regional Product

The project will also generate an increase in Gross Regional Income of $2 billion over 15 years.

$392 million benefit to Victoria

The project will provide an estimated annual net benefit to Victoria of $392.4 million in net present value (NPV) terms.

The direct benefit is $158.9 million. The indirect benefit of $234.4 million includes $25.0 million of economic benefits to Victorian workers and $209.4 million for suppliers.

$60 million annual operating expenditure

The project will require expenditure on goods and services, including vehicles, plant and equipment servicing, fuel, consumables and technical services.

Wages paid to employees and contractors will be spent in the local community and will generate additional jobs in the community.

Further information

For further information about the Fingerboards Project:

  • Go to our web site:
  • Join our e-mail list for updates on the Technical Studies and the EES process.
  • Call into our office at 48 Bailey Street, Bairnsdale.
  • Call or e-mail us for further information, or to make an appointment to speak with one of our team.

Phone: 03 5152 3130
Freecall: 1800 791 396