Metallica Minerals’ Cape Flattery silica sand project has been recognised as a project of regional significance by Queensland’s Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW).
The acknowledgement will allow Metallica to apply for a water entitlement from the Water Plan 2019 which still includes 25,000 megalitres of unallocated water.
Metallica executive chairman Theo Psaros said it was important for new economy minerals to be prioritised moving forward.
“We welcome DRDMW’s decision as it recognises the contribution our project is planning to make to the Cape Flattery region,” Psaros said.
“This decision also reflects the Queensland Government’s commitment to the development of new economy minerals such as Metallica’s silica sand project in the Far North.”
The recognition comes ahead of the completion of a pre-feasibility study, expected by March, which should confirm a project value of $235 million over a 22-year mine life.
Cape Flattery has a total silica sand resource of 53.5 million tonnes at a grade of more than 99 per cent silicon dioxide.
This most recent measure from October 2021 is more than four times the resource estimate of that at the beginning of the year.
The purpose of the Water Plan is to provide a framework for sustainably managing water in the Cape York region, while regulating access to surface and underground resources.
The granting of a project of regional significance must consider the economic and social impact of the project, as well as the public interest and welfare of people in the region.
This includes all Aboriginal and Torres Stair Islander communities, of which there are 17 on the Cape York peninsula alone.
Psaros said receiving the recognition proved to the company and community that the Cape Flattery silica sand project was of benefit to many.
“To achieve this status the project had to demonstrate the benefits it would bring to the region, particularly in diversifying the regional economy through delivery of employment opportunities” he said.
In April 2021, Cape Flattery Silica Mines (CFSM) was recognised by the government for its employment of Indigenous Australians.
“The mine has been operating since 1967 and employs about 100 people, with 40 per cent identified as Indigenous employees,” said Resources Minister Scott Stewart.
“Businesses such as CFSM that foster diversity and sustainability continue to play a vital role in Queensland’s economic recovery.”
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