Kalbar is gearing up for mine build next year

KALBAR resources is looking to procure a bank of suitably qualified staff for the yet-to-be approved Fingerboards mine project east of Stratford, despite the mine proposal currently going through the state legislated approvals process (environmental effects statement).

In expectation of a positive outcome, Kalbar has begun advertising for staff to fill “possible future construction” roles.

It has launched an online portal, ‘ICN Gateway’, as part of the wider Gippsland Project Opportunities portal, for prospective employees to register their interest.

In a mass email, the company confirmed that an expression of interest was not intended to lead to “direct employment with Kalbar”, but about prime contract opportunities during the construction phase of the Fingerboards Project.

There is also expected to be sub-prime and sub-contract opportunities added at a later stage.

The Fingerboards mine has not yet been approved by the Victorian government, but after several years of investigation Kalbar believes the site is suitable for an open cut mine to extract minerals including zircon, rutile and ilmenite (titanium minerals), and rare earths.

It is facing community opposition from residents and farmers concerned about the potential for mining works to produce excess dust and use dwindling water resources.

In June, concerned Gippsland residents travelled to Melbourne for a peaceful protest on the steps of Parliament House.

With the Lindenow Valley vegetable growing area only 500 metres downwind from the proposed mine at Glenaladale, organisers of the event called on Planning Minister Richard Wynne to rule out the final approvals for the mine.

A petition with more than 4600 signatures against the mine and its proponent, Kalbar Resources, was lodged by The Greens in parliament.

On the ICN Gateway portal, Kalbar states that subject to approvals, it proposes to begin construction of the project next year.

It says construction and commissioning and start-up will take about 12 months.