Mineral sands mining licensing process begins

Kalbar Operations Ltd Pty has applied for a mining licence in relation to the proposed Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project in Gippsland.

A decision on the mining licence will not be made until the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) process has concluded and the Minister for Planning has issued an assessment of the environmental impacts of the project.

The mining licence application process provides an opportunity for public submissions to be made to inform Earth Resources Regulations ‘s decision to grant or refuse a licence.

The mining licence application process is not related to the EES process and previous opportunities for the public to make submission on the proposed project and its environmental impacts.

By law, the specific grounds that must be considered include the applicant’s status as ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence and their financial capacity to undertake mining and rehabilitate the site. Native Title requirements must also be met.

Earth Resources Regulation is also standing by its position that Kalbar’s plan to excavate a large test pit cannot be determined before the EES process led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is complete.

Kalbar Operations is seeking to extract mineral sands to the north and east of Glenaladale, Woodglen and Coongulmerang, in an area bordering the Limpyers State Forest.

Kalbar’s mining licence application is open for public comment until 11 August 2021. Submissions can be made through the Have Your Say page.

The EES process will determine whether the environmental impacts of the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project are acceptable and whether the project should proceed.

The EES outcome will inform the conditions for mining activity under a Work Plan that would be required, subsequent to the grant of a mining licence.

Attributable to Executive Director Earth Resources Regulation Anthony Hurst

“Under our mining legislation, we must begin the process to assess Kalbar’s mining licence application and we encourage anyone with an interest to make a submission on the specified grounds, including the applicant’s status as being ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence and their financial capacity to complete their proposed work and rehabilitate the site.”

“We’ll make our final decision on the licence application once the EES process is fully complete and we have been able to consider the Minister for Planning’s assessment of the project’s environmental impacts.”

“The environmental assessment process underway will determine whether the mining proposal in the Glenaladale area has acceptable impacts and can proceed or not, while the mining licence application process is an additional legislative mechanism to assess if Kalbar meet criteria to be granted an exclusive right to mine the resource.”

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