PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The A$1.3-billion Dubbo zirconia project, in New South Wales, has cleared its last hurdle after the state’s Environment Protection Authority granted ASX-listed Alkane Resources an environmental protection licence (EPL) for the construction of the project.
The EPL sets out limits to air, land and water emissions, as well as detailing environmental monitoring and reporting responsibilities.
The company was granted a mining lease last December.
“The Dubbo zirconia project has significant potential to stimulate not only local industry but also New South Wales manufacturers, Australian industry and exports across the globe,” said Industry, Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts.
“The Dubbo zirconia projects will provide enormous benefits locally, to the state, and indeed Australia.”
The Dubbo project was expected to extract 19.5-million tonnes of rare metals and rare-earth ores from an opencut mine, at a rate of one-million tonnes a year. Alkane was also proposing the establishment of a processing facility to produce 75 000 t/y of concentrate, which would be transported to either Port Botany or Newcastle for export.
Alkane told shareholders this week that the EPL was the final major step in the approvals process required to enable the company to progress with construction at Dubbo, which was still subject to financing.