Australian mining company reapply for consent to start West Coast open pit mines

TiGa Minerals and Metals would like to open pit in Barrytown.
photograph: 123 RF

An Australian mining company has reapplied for a resource consent for mineral sands development on the west coast. It claims to make millions of dollars on the West Coast but have a negligible environmental impact.

TiGa Minerals and Metals hopes to conduct open pit mining in Barrytown, about 30 km north of Greymouth, to extract ilmenite, zircon, gold and garnet. These minerals are in increasing demand for high-tech manufacturing and for use in paints and other materials. .

The first application is declined last year This is largely due to insufficient information on the potential environmental impacts and other social hazards of mines.

Managing director Robert Brand said the company has done more work and consultation over the past year to resolve issues and establish the commercial and environmental viability of the venture.

“We could have challenged the original decision, but we have reorganized to address the recommended shortcomings and have decided to proceed again.”

He said drilling for better data on mineral content, as well as obtaining new data on the hydrology of sites near the shore and several streams running through them, was included.

“The project was mature at the time, so we benefited from the delays so that we could proceed with a more substantial and complete submission.”

To ensure transparency of information and enable stakeholders to participate, Brand said the company also requires public notification of the application.

economic costs and benefits

According to a report commissioned by TiGa, the project is estimated to generate over 130 direct and assisted jobs, $34 million in annual wages and domestic spending, and $63 million in annual exports when fully operational. .

“This represents a decent employment opportunity…it puts a significant amount of money back into the community and projects can and will be provided by local businesses,” Brand said. I got

He said sand processing is done on-site using water filtration, using the same principles as traditional gold sorting, to wash away the sand to leave behind the heavier minerals.

As parts of the site have been mined, they will be restored to return to productive agriculture.

“The balance is always to weigh the economic benefits against the economic costs. Expert reports received so far show that the benefits far outweigh the costs. Costs are minimal and manageable. It’s possible, but there are big long-term benefits for the region.”

Venture costs are estimated at $75 million, according to Brand, which will likely be financed through a stock sale and listing on stock exchanges in Australia and possibly New Zealand.

He expected the resource consent process to take about six months and hoped to begin work towards the end of this year and start production in late 2024 or early 2025. Australian mining company reapply for consent to start West Coast open pit mines

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