FINGERBOARDS PROJECT

Mine location 1

Project development and approvals process

Developing a productive mine takes a long time. The Glenaladale deposit has been explored and studied for over 13 years and there is still a long way to go before a mine can be built.

Project planning

Kalbar is working on a definitive feasibility study (DFS), which is a complete design in terms of mine and process engineering, and marketing the product to potential buyers. Since taking ownership of the project we have consulted directly affected landowners and community members about aspects of the project. Input from these consultations has been taken into account in the mine design for the DFS.

Once the DFS is finished, we will present the results to the community. 

Understanding the impacts and getting approval

The Minister for Planning has required an Environment Effects Statement (EES) under the Victorian Environment Effects Act 1978.  Approval will also be required under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The EES Report is expected to be completed in May 2019. Public exhibition and Ministerial assessment of the EES is expected to occur in the second half of 2019.

As part of the EES we will be studying how the mine could potentially impact the environment and local communities. We have to demonstrate how we can eliminate or mitigate any impacts of the mining operation before any approvals are given.

The EES process is managed by the Victorian government and involves public input throughout the process of defining and evaluating the potential environmental, social and economic effects of the project. The period, timing and notification of these public input periods are controlled by the regulator. 

All relevant information and reports will be made available at key stages through information bulletins, this web site and local media. Public input and engagement throughout this process is encouraged to ensure that all community issues are properly identified and addressed.

Project Variations

As the project has developed and EES studies have informed options to manage its operations, Kalbar has made variations to the project resulting from further assessment of infrastructure, transport and water management requirements.

Following its acceptance of a variation in July 2018, the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy has accepted a further variation on 14 June 2019.

Click on the links below to read the letter seeking the variation and the decision notice.

Letter of Variation

Variation – Decision Notice

The variation includes:

  • Changes to the total maximum area of disturbance at any time from 280 ha to 360 ha. The main changes in overall disturbance relate to the inclusion of topsoil stockpiles (45 hectares) and water management dams and minor auxiliary infrastructure changes (35 hectares) within the overall estimate. The topsoil stockpiles were always there (and shown on the General Arrangement drawing) but not accounted for as disturbed land. The water management dams were only included in the disturbed area as we developed the overall site water management strategy during the latter half of 2018 and into Q2 2019. The area of disturbance associated with the mining process itself (e.g. mine voids, overburden exposed, etc) remains unchanged.
  • A revised product transport plan, due to the planned construction of a new rail bridge over the Avon River. The proposed variation involves re-routing product transport to either a proposed purpose-built siding south of the project area and east of Fernbank, or to the existing Bairnsdale rail siding, once the new Avon River rail bridge has been constructed. Transport of concentrates to Maryvale and Port Anthony/Barry Beach Marine Terminal would cease once either of these two options has been adopted. The rail siding near Fernbank would remove all product haulage from public roads around the project area.
  • A revised water management strategy. Changes include:
    • The addition of another water supply source, being groundwater from the Latrobe Group Aquifer, to the originally proposed winter-fill sourced from Mitchell River.
    • The construction of water storages, a borefield and pipelines for freshwater, process water, contingency water (groundwater), and surface water management.
    • The controlled release of freshwater from the freshwater storage dam to offset surface water intercepted by the site (that is not exempt from surface water licencing) and maintain downstream environmental flows.
    • Capture of runoff that has been in contact with the mine and disturbance areas for metered transfer to the process water system, and diversion of undisturbed runoff around active mining areas and controlled release to the downstream environment.