Kalbar applies for a mining licence over 2100ha area

Opponents of the Kalbar Mineral Sands Mine have criticised the company for applying for a mining licence before the completion of the Environmental Effects Statement process.

THE Environmental Effects Statement process for the proposed Fingerboards mineral sands mine at Glenaladale has attracted some community criticism, after the company behind the proposed mine, Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd, applied for a mining licence before the EES completion.
The appointed Inquiry and Advisory Committee has only just made its recommendations about the future of the mine project.
But Mine-Free Glenaladale representative Debbie Carruthers said the group believed Kalbar’s early application for a licence was treating the IAC process “with contempt” and put the community under further pressure by having to respond to the application now.
“People have to spend time and emotional energy in writing another submission, which could all be wasted if the Minister for Planning concludes, on environmental grounds,
against the project proceeding,” Ms Carruthers said.
The mining licence application is for an area of 2148.3 hectares — larger than Kalbar’s retention licence of 1675 hectares specified in their Environment Effects Statement document.
“At over 21 square kilometres, this proposed open cut mine is enormous and is now proposed to be a whopping 27 per cent bigger,” Ms Carruthers claimed.
“No surveys have been conducted on the cultural heritage or biodiversity values of this new area, and it will result in some landholders now having their house on the mine footprint.”
A mining licence application must be advertised, which has occurred, with submissions closing next Wednesday, August 11.
The IAC has until September 16, 2021, to submit its findings and recommendations about the EES to the Planning Minister, with the minister required to announce his decision within 25 business days of receiving the IAC’s report.
The recent mining application, which proposes a term of 20 years, cannot be considered until after the minister’s decision on the EES.