A new mineral sands mine has been approved in the NSW shire of Balranald, with hundreds of workers needed for construction and operation.
NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) gave the go-ahead for Cristal Mining’s new Atlas-Campaspe Minerals Sands Project yesterday, which will require 300 workers in the construction phase, and 200 for operation.
The project will also require construction of a rail-load out facility at Ivanhoe, where offloading of materials from Cristal Mining’s existing processing centres at Broken Hill will take place.
Road maintenance will also be carried out in Balranald and Central Darling Shire Council regions to ensure affected roads can accommodate traffic changes, including upgrades to the Balranald-Ivanhoe Road and the Hatfield-The Vale Road intersection.
Cristal Mining will pay annual contributions for the ongoing maintenance of roads in the area.
The project will cost $200 million according to DPE executive director Chris Wilson.
“After a comprehensive assessment process, with submissions only expressing support for the project, we concluded the project should go ahead with strict conditions,” he said.
The departmental assessment concluded that the benefits of the project would outweigh other impacts that could be managed by conditions outlined in the development consent.
The mine is estimated to be able to supply 109 million tonnes of mineral sands ore at a rate limited to 7.2 million tonnes each year over 20 years, which will produce $95 million in royalties for NSW.
The mine will be allowed to transport 450,000 tonnes of mineral concentrate from site each year.
Consent for mining operations will expire in June 2034.
Biodiversity offset strategy recommendations include 16,540 hectares of native vegetation management near the mine, in Mungo National Park and Mungo State Conservation Area.
The site will also be required to set up a threatened species management protocol to manage and monitor threatened species in the area, including the Cobar Greenhood Orchid, Winged Peppercress, Mossgiel Daisy, Malleefowl, Western Pygmy-Possom and the South-eastern Long-nosed Bat.