The formal process of investigation and assessment of the proposed Kalbar Resources mineral sands mine at Glenaladale is one step closer with the Victorian Government granting a Retention Licence over the mineral resource to open the way for a full assessment of the project.
The retention licence for the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project retains Kalbar’s rights to the mineral resource and allows the company to prepare for an Environment Effects Statement (EES) referral, as directed by the Minister, which is the first formal step in environmental assessment of the proposal.
Kalbar Resources Managing Director, Neil O’Loughlin said the company is keen to commence the preparation of background studies and reports to inform the assessment process and community discussion on the project.
“We now have some certainty that a formal process will commence soon so we can start the important work on technical reports and assessments for the project”, Mr O’Loughlin said.
Kalbar expects that the mine will require a full EES under the Victorian Environment Effects Act 1978 and may also require approval under Commonwealth legislation.
The EES process is expected to take around two years and will cover environmental, social and economic impacts, including surface and groundwater, flora and fauna, traffic, noise and any other potential effects. The process includes substantial community consultation at each step.
“We know how concerned the local community is about environmental protection and we have to show we can manage or minimise any impacts of the operation before approval for mining is sought”. Mr O’Loughlin said.
“Developing a productive mine takes a long time, the Glenaladale deposit has been explored and studied for over 12 years and there is still a long way to go before a mine can be built”, he said.
“With the retention licence granted the company looks forward to proceeding with the lengthy and comprehensive project assessment required by the environmental and other approvals processes and we intend to encourage full public involvement in those important steps”.
Kalbar is currently completing a preliminary feasibility study to finalise the conceptual design of the mine.