Technical studies for the proposed Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project are providing information which the proponent, Kalbar Resources, says will start to address community concerns about the $180+million resource development project.
An Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the project is underway and the company is seeking community feedback on the initial findings of the technical studies.
Kalbar Resources is seeking to develop a mineral sands mine at Glenaladale, which will supply valuable minerals for production of personal and household goods, medical equipment, computing and renewable energy technologies.
Kalbar’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr Victor Hugo said: “We are in the process of gathering the findings of key environmental studies required for project approvals and addressing the potential impacts of the project”.
“While the studies are not yet complete, the initial results indicate that some of the environmental issues of concern to some members of the community may not present a significant risk”, Dr Hugo said.
“Some concerns about heavy metals and “toxic” materials being released by the mine are not supported by the scientific evidence gathered in the initial assessment of heavy metals and radiation”, Dr Hugo said.
Dr Hugo said: “Independent tests undertaken in accredited laboratories show that the levels of so-called “toxic” materials in the soils and ore body are well within the acceptable background levels for human health”.
“Predicted radiation levels are also well within the guidelines for exposure to workers and the community”, he said.
Kalbar’s Fingerboards Project web site includes summaries of the initial findings of studies on soils, traffic and transport, noise, radiation, cultural heritage, visual impact and heavy metals and the company is seeking community feedback on those preliminary findings.
Dr Hugo said: “It is important that the community is properly informed about the project based on the available evidence and is able to provide local input on the technical studies that are underway”.
“We want to ensure the finalisation of the technical studies takes account of any local feedback”, he said.
The company has moved into new offices in Bairnsdale and is increasing its local workforce to prepare for the final stages of the EES process and engage with community members on the project.
Dr Hugo said: “We now have seven staff working exclusively on the project who bring many years’ experience in mineral sands mining, engineering, geology and project management”.
“We are inviting all interested community members to find out more about the technical studies and share any concerns about the project with us, including any areas for further investigation as part of the EES”, he said.
Further results from the studies and the final EES Report will be made available for public comment once completed.