On 21 November 2021, the Minister for Planning completed his assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978. This concluded the environment effects statement process for this project.
Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd, as proponent, and statutory decision-makers received the assessment to inform approval decisions.
The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment received the assessment to inform her decision about the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Minister’s assessment concludes that the environmental effects of the project are unacceptable.
Proponent: Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd
Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd proposes to develop the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project which has an approximate area of 1,675 hectares and is located approximately 20 kilometres north-west of Bairnsdale in East Gippsland, Victoria.
The proposal includes:
- the development of a mineral sands mine
- two mining unit plants
- wet concentrator plant (comprising mineral separation processing and tailings thickening and disposal plant)
- water supply infrastructure
- tailings storage facility
- additional site facilities, such as a site office, warehouse, workshop, loading facilities and fuel storage.
The proposed mining methods involve open pit mining to extract approximately 170 million tonnes of ore over a projected mine life of 20 years to produce approximately 8 Mt of mineral concentrate. Mine products are proposed to be transported via road or by rail for export overseas.
The mining project would require up to 9,000 kilovolt-ampere (kVA) of power likely to be supplied from the electricity grid and annual water requirements of approximately 3 to 4 gigalitres.
Update - October 2021
The Public Hearing for the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project Inquiry and Advisory Committee concluded on 22 July 2021. The Inquiry and Advisory Committee report has been submitted in accordance with the Terms of Reference. The IAC was given a two week extension and provided their report to the Minister for Planning on 30 September 2021.
Given the extent of material covered through the IAC report and the complexity of the project, the timeframe for the Minister’s Assessment has also been extended by two weeks. The Minister’s Assessment and IAC report are now expected to be published in mid-late November 2021.
Exhibition of EES
The environment effects statement (EES), together with the draft planning scheme amendment and the EPA Works Approval Application, was released for public comment for a period of 40 business days, from Thursday 3 September to 5.00pm on Thursday 29 October 2020.
You can view the EES, draft Planning Scheme Amendment and Works Approval Application and any related documents at Kalbar’s Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project webpage.
You can view the submissions received on Engage Victoria.
Information about the process that will follow the conclusion of the public exhibition period can be found in the Panel or Committee tab.
Amended Procedures and Requirements
On 19 July 2020 the Minister issued amended procedures and requirements under the Environment Effects Act for the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project EES. The amended procedures and requirements relate to the public exhibition and inquiry stages of the EES process, and provide for special measures to be implemented in light of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions that apply under Victoria's state of emergency. In particular, they provide for interested people to register to obtain their own copies of EES documentation, in the absence of the usual public display of hard copies at physical exhibition points, and confirm the extended public exhibition period from 30 to 40 business days. The Minister has also given direction about the possible use of technology such as video-conferencing for hearings of the inquiry.
The Minister issued his original procedures and requirements in December 2016 when he decided that an EES was required. The original procedures and requirements appear on this website in the Minister's Decision section below.
Final Scoping Requirements
The Scoping Requirements set out the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES. Draft Scoping Requirements for this EES were on public exhibition between 13 September 2017 to 6 October 2017. After considering public submissions on the Draft Scoping Requirements, the Minister for Planning issued final Scoping Requirements in April 2018.
To assist with the interpretation of the final Scoping Requirements, please view questions and answers containing guidance on their development here.
Kalbar has prepared a communication and consultation plan for the EES, outlining the opportunities and approaches for their community engagement during the preparation of the EES. The plan has been refined following advice from the department and Technical Reference Group and is published on this web page. Kalbar welcomes community input on the plan at any time. The consultation process may be adapted or modified to meet changing community needs and requirements.
EES process status
Read the Kalbar fact sheet that summarises the EES process:
Technical Reference Group
DELWP has convened an inter-agency Technical Reference Group at the request of the Minister for Planning to advise DELWP and the proponent on scoping and adequacy of the EES studies and documentation, as well as coordination of the EES process with other statutory processes for the project.
The government organisations represented on the Technical Reference Group are:
- DELWP - Impact Assessment
- DELWP - Region & Biodiversity
- Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources (Earth Resources Regulation)
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Aboriginal Victoria
- Heritage Victoria
- EPA Victoria
- Parks Victoria
- East Gippsland Water
- Southern Rural Water
- West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
- East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
- East Gippsland Shire Council
- Wellington Shire Council
Technical Reference Group representatives are supported by internal experts on specific aspects of the EES studies.
If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch via the contact details below.
- Proposed Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project
Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd - Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project
☎ Phone: 1800 791 396 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
✉ Email: email@example.com
- EES process
Environment Assessment Unit
☎ Phone: (03) 8508 2276
✉ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last updated: 24/11/21