Project Bulletins

Project Bulletin - May 2021

   Friday 7th May, 2021  -  Link to this article

In this Bulletin you can read about:

  • Kalbar Operations’ presence at East Gippsland Field Days
  • Voconiq Local Voices community survey is still open
  • Community Grants Program Round 1 recipients announced

Thank you for attending our exhibit at East Gippsland Field Days

The Kalbar Operations team was kept very busy during the East Gippsland Field Days held 23-24 April at the Bairnsdale aerodrome. We had a steady stream of visitors to our exhibit during both days and it was wonderful to chat with so many interested members of the community.

The Kalbar exhibit provided community members with an opportunity to further understand the mining process, see first-hand how rehabilitation of the site will be undertaken, experience some of the equipment that will be used on site, and some of the products that the mineral sands will be used to produce (including face paint).

We responded to many questions about the Fingerboards project and were able to clarify some misconceptions that have been circulating in the community. We really appreciate the great support shown towards the project and our team and look forward to the commencement of the public hearing into the environmental effects of the project on Monday 3 May 2021.

Thank you from the Kalbar Operations team

There were some questions which were asked more frequently than others. We have summarised those commonly-asked questions below. We will continue to provide information about the Fingerboards project through this Project Bulletin, our website, and via our newly-launched Facebook page.

For anyone who was not able to visit us during the East Gippsland Field Days, we encourage you to call in to our Shopfront office at 48 Bailey Street, Bairnsdale during weekdays if you have any burning questions or would like to know more about the Fingerboards project.

We thank one and all who came to visit our exhibit and we look forward to seeing you again at the 2022 East Gippsland Field Days.

The most commonly-asked questions during East Gippsland Field Days:

Who owns Kalbar?

Kalbar Operations is an unlisted Australian private company with a Joint Venture arrangement between Appian Capital Advisory LLP and Kalbar Ltd.

Kalbar Operations is not Chinese owned, as many people have been led to believe.

Why are you sending product from the Fingerboards project to the Asian market?

Australia does not currently have well-developed downstream processing and manufacturing capability for mineral sands and critical minerals – that currently exists in Asia.

The Federal government has developed a Critical Minerals Strategy ( which aims to position Australia as a world leader in the exploration, extraction, production and processing of critical minerals and create the conditions needed to grow this emerging sector.

We hope that in years to come the Heavy Mineral Concentrate (HMC) from the Fingerboards mining operation will be able to be processed in Australia.

How are you transporting product from the Fingerboards project to port?

Kalbar Operations proposes to transport the HMC from the Fingerboards project to port via truck and rail. Trucks will transport the HMC via a private haul road to a rail siding and the product will be railed to port.

Will Fingerboards project jobs be available to local people?

The Gippsland region has significant industry capability and local skills and expertise upon which to draw. Kalbar Operations is committed to prioritising job opportunities and recruiting locally-based employees and engaging locally-based businesses and suppliers.

Our processes prioritise East Gippsland and Wellington Shire residents and businesses first, followed by the rest of Gippsland and then Victoria and the rest of Australia.

How big will the Fingerboards mining area be? Will your mine excavation be the same size and scale as the open cut mine voids in the Latrobe Valley?

Mineral sands mining is different to traditional open cut mining in that mineral sands are mined in strips, and progressively backfilled and rehabilitated as mining progresses forward to the next ‘cell’ along the strip.

The maximum area of disturbance at the Fingerboards mining operation is approximately 360 hectares at any one time.

Voconiq Local Voices ‘anchor’ survey – still open

In our previous Project Bulletin we talked about the Voconiq ‘Local Voices’ community engagement survey to which we have received a great response to date.

The survey remains open until 26 May 2021 and we encourage all community members who have not yet undertaken the survey, to participate and provide their feedback about the Fingerboards project.

Further information and links to participate in the survey are provided below.

Have your say in the ‘anchor’ survey

Joining and participating in Local Voices provides a way to improve engagement between Kalbar Operations and the community by increasing understanding and generating better relationships and outcomes.

Anyone who is over 18 years of age and lives and/or works in the East Gippsland and Wellington Shires is invited to participate.

All surveys undertaken by Voconiq are confidential and no personal information is shared with Kalbar Operations.

Get involved

  • Have your say about what’s important to you
  • This is a direct unfiltered voice to Kalbar Operations
  • It’s confidential – no personal details are disclosed to Kalbar Operations
  • Earn donations for local community not-for- profit groups
  • Become an ambassador and spread the word
  • Help your community inform decisions that affect you

Participation involves an initial ‘anchor’ survey, followed by short quarterly ‘pulse’ surveys. The results of the first survey will feed into the ongoing ‘pulse’ surveys, which are designed to track the issues identified by the ‘anchor’ survey, and how the community feels about them.

Participation linked to community rewards

For every survey completed, participants receive e-tokens which they allocate to their chosen local not-for-profit community group registered with Voconiq Local Voices, and these are then converted to cash for the group’s use.

Every anchor survey completed makes a $10 donation!

Results available online

Voconiq will share the results of every Local Voices survey with Kalbar Operations and the community. The results from all surveys undertaken will be available on the Voconiq Local Voices website.

Let others know

Voconiq aims to ensure a diverse sample of community members are represented in the program and new participants are welcome at any time. Please encourage others to sign up and have their say by following Voconiq Local Voices on Facebook and liking, sharing posts on your social media.

For updates and Local Voices news follow: @LocalVoicesEastGippslandWellington


Further information is available on the Local Voices website, but please do not hesitate to contact the Local Voices project team directly. The team is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. | T 1800 232 836  |

Round 1 Community Grant recipients announced

We are very proud to announce the successful applicants for the first round of the Kalbar Operations’ community grants program. Recipients attended a morning tea at the Kalbar office to celebrate their success in being awarded grant funding, and mark the occasion as Kalbar’s inaugural community grant recipients.

Kalbar Operations received eleven applications for Round 1, all of which were of a high quality and most deserving. A committee made up of both Kalbar and community representatives had a tough job to select the five successful applicants.

We strongly encourage unsuccessful Round 1 applicants to apply for funding when Round 2 opens on 14 May 2021.

Congratulations to the following community groups:

Lindenow Memorial Hall

Funds for new crockery and cutlery to replace mismatched and old crockery. The hall is used extensively by elderly residents in the area and well utilised for a range of social functions that support the local community.

Metung Community Garden

Funds for materials to create new garden beds to expand the Metung Community Garden. This garden connects people within the community and builds skills in how to grow vegetables and community members benefit from consuming the freshly-grown produce.

Lindenow South Football Netball Club

Funds to purchase football jumpers for the first women’s football team, with a portion of the funds to be allocated towards jumpers for indigenous players.

East Gippsland Rail Trail

Funds to build seats and tables along the East Gippsland Rail Trail which stretches 100 kilometres from Bairnsdale to Orbost. The Trail is used regularly by cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

George Gray Centre, Maffra

Funds to purchase an Obie interactive gaming console which encourages active movement through touching, moving and hand-eye coordination. The George Gray Centre is a long-standing and highly regarded disability day care for disabled people over 18 years of age. They encourage integration into the workforce using their own gardening service and onsite café.

Representatives from the Lindenow Memorial Hall, Metung Community Garden, East Gippsland Rail Trail and George Gray Centre attended a celebratory morning tea at the Kalbar Operations office.

For further information about the Fingerboards Project:

Telephone: 5152 3130
Freecall: 1800 791 396

Other Project Bulletins

Project Bulletin - April 2021
Project Bulletin February 2021
Project Bulletin December 2020
Project Bulletin October 2020 v4
Project Bulletin October 2020 v2
Project Bulletin - October 2020
Project Bulletin - September 2020 v3
Project Bulletin - September 2020 v2
Project Bulletin - September 2020
Project Bulletin - August 2020
Project Bulletin - July 2020
Project Bulletin - June 2020 v3
Project Bulletin - June 2020 v2
Project Bulletin - June 2020
Project Bulletin - May 2020
Project Bulletin April 2020
Project Bulletin - March 2020
Project Bulletin - February 2020
Project Bulletin - January 2020
Project Bulletin - 13 December 2019
Project Bulletin - 4 December 2019