Green light for metals mine

CONSULTING engineer and environmental solutions company, SEMF, has been instrumental in securing planning environmental approvals for the redevelopment of the historical tin and sapphire Scotia Mine in Tasmania.

Consulting engineer and environmental solutions company, SEMF, has been instrumental in securing planning environmental approvals for the redevelopment of the historical tin and sapphire Scotia Mine in Tasmania.

Located in north-east Tasmania, the Scotia mine is the first of several mines to be redeveloped by tin and sapphire mining company, Van Diemen Mines, which is currently coordinating exploratory and mining development throughout the central Ringarooma and the Great Northern Plains.

These areas are historically renowned for their vast quantities of alluvial tin mining operations.

The Van Dieman redevelopment projects will be staged over a 20-year time frame.

Mining at Scotia first started over a century ago when the Scotia Tin Mining Company was formed in 1881. However, following a decline in production in the early part of the 1900s, it closed in 1908.

In 2005, Van Dieman Mines Pty Ltd was granted a mining lease over the Scotia resource area, with the aim of recommencing mining operations at the actual mine itself and along its deposits to the north. It is estimated that there are a minimum of 14,343 tonnes of tin oxide, along with substantial amounts of sapphire and gold remaining within Scotia.

Mine infrastructure will include a gravity processing plant, tailings dams, process water supply dam, and associated mine infrastructure including access roads and power supply. In addition, a clean up facility has been constructed at the nearby township of Gladstone to provide further treatment to the mined concentrate.

The mining method employed at the Scotia Mine will incorporate a staged open-cut pit with pit conveyors returning overburden immediately behind the ore face. Ore will be processed on-site prior to being transported to Gladstone for further processing.

SEMF was commissioned to develop and coordinate all development approval documentation required by the Local and State Government, and to manage all community and stakeholder consultation.

According to Dr John McCambridge, who heads up SEMF’s environmental and infrastructure solutions group, the company was also involved in implementing the results of the ecological surveys for the approval documentation and in providing engineering input into the water balance and processing circuit for Scotia.

The engineering and environmental solutions’ company was also responsible for employing and coordinating all sub-consultant work, reviewing all specialist reports and presenting project overviews to local and state government bodies.

“We will continue to work closely with government departments to ensure any queries are swiftly addressed and the final Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan (DPEMP) management measures implemented,” Dr McCambridge said.

Successful coordination and development of approval documentation to date has secured all necessary operational permits for the redevelopment of Scotia Mine. It has also cemented SEMF’s role in the approvals’ process for Van Dieman Mines’ second development, the Endurance Mine. It is anticipated Scotia Mine will commence production before mid 2008.

Dr John McCambrige

0409 956 898

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