Sand miner to shut North Stradbroke mine

Sibelco will shut down its North Stradbroke Yarraman sand mine next year.

Workers were yesterday informed of the decision, according to the Redland City Bulletin.

The deadline for its closure was pushed forward from December to August following its decision to not mine a community thoroughfare due to its significance to the community, with Sibelco spokesperson Paul Smith telling the Bulletin the closure was not a reaction to falling commodity prices and instead a response to a previously passed piece of legislation.

The embattled mine has faced a number of bans and potential phase outs on the island.

Sibelco first faced hurdles for the sand mine in 2011, when the then Bligh Government declared 80% of the island a national park, and banned sand mining.

Bligh also announced a timetable to completely phase out sand mining on the island by 2025, affecting Sibelco's other mines – Enterprise and Vance

Smith said it is acting within this timeline, with the Yarraman mine slated for closure in 2015, Vance in 2025, and Enterprise in 2035 if Sibleco applies to renew the lease.

Campbell Jones, Sibelco's CEO, said the Yarraman closure is inline with its commitment to reduce operations on Stradbroke by the set date.

"With redeployment of most of our impacted Yarraman employees on decommissioning, dismantling and rehabilitation of the Yarraman site and optimisation projects at Enterprise mine it is anticipated there will only be a small reduction in our workforce leading up to December 2016," a company statement said.

"The original custodians of North Stradbroke Island, the Quandamooka people will also continue to receive the benefits of sand mining through employment, community benefit and an ongoing entitlement to Sibelco’s royalties from the State Government."

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