About 80 community members attended a consultation session for the Fingerboards Mineral Sands project in Lindenow this week, to provide feedback on technical studies being prepared for the project’s Environment Effects Statement (EES).
Attendees heard from technical consultants and shared their views on issues related to air quality, biodiversity, socioeconomic and agriculture studies being undertaken to assess the potential impacts of the mineral sands mining project.
Community members from the Glenaladale area and further afield were asked to provide initial feedback on the three studies, with community input contributing to the finalisation of the studies and EES report.
Kalbar Resources Chief Operating Officer, Dr Victor Hugo said: “While the final studies and EES report are still some months away, the session was an important opportunity for the community to hear from some of the specialist technical consultants about their investigations and tell us what they expect the studies to address”.
“This is all part of the process of gaining community input on the EES as it is prepared, rather than waiting until the final report is completed, Dr Hugo said.
Feedback from the session indicated that participants found it a useful way of contributing to the process, although some felt that the information was complex and hard to digest in one session. Many attendees also said they will need to see more detailed findings about the impacts of the project.
Kalbar plans to publish summaries of the presentations and the community discussions and provide further opportunities for input through similar sessions on other technical studies.
Dr Hugo said: “There is a lot of information to get through and it is important that people have time to provide thoughtful input, which is why we have started the consultation process while the studies are still underway”.
“People told us that the session was useful, and we will make sure there are further opportunities for community members to consider the information and raise any questions or concerns”, he said.
Community members have expressed the need for detailed information about the project’s impacts to be available for comment prior to completion of the EES so that the studies address all community concerns about any effects on the environment and local community.
“There is a high level of interest in issues such as water and mine rehabilitation, so we will seek community input on those studies as well and our consultation processes will allow ample opportunity for further feedback”, Dr Hugo said.
The EES is expected to be completed later this year with the Minister for Planning to consider formal public exhibition and review in early 2019.
More information about the results of the session and the EES process will be available on the Fingerboards Project website.