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Proposed Saint Elmo Vanadium Project

Project description

Multicom Resources Limited (the proponent) is proposing to develop the Saint Elmo Vanadium Project (the Project) to mine and produce vanadium. The proposed Project would be located approximately 15 kilometres east of the town of Julia Creek, in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province, within the McKinlay local government area.

The proponent proposes to develop a greenfield, shallow, open cut mine and associated infrastructure, to produce up to 20,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) over a mine life of at least 30 years. The proposed Project would require strip mining of up to 15 million tpa of material within an 8,882 hectare area on mining lease application (MLA) 100162. An area of 180 ha adjacent to the Flinders River and partially within the Punchbowl Road Reserve and off the mining lease will be used for a Water Storage Facility and associated pipeline.

The proposed project would consist of:

  • shallow (20-40 meters depending on the depth of overburden) open cut pits, with north-south aligned strip mining panels to be sequentially mined, backfilled and rehabilitated
  • a run-of-mine and process pad
  • overburden and topsoil storage and management areas
  • an area for blending run-of-mine stockpiles to minimise feed grade variation through the processing plant
  • road access from the Flinders Highway
  • a rail spur into MLA 100162 from the Northern Rail Line
  • an infrastructure area, including offices, laboratories, workshops
  • a sewerage treatment plant and associated irrigation area
  • an Off-site Water Storage Facility (OWSF) and associated pipeline to store and deliver water to the site
  • a tailings storage facility
  • onsite water management infrastructure including; evaporation pond, raw water dam, mine water dam and dirty water storage
  • progressive rehabilitation of disturbed areas
  • a power station (diesel and gas generator and proposed area for a solar farm).

The proposed Project would employ approximately 200 people during construction and approximately 150 people once operational at a production level of 10,000 tpa increasing to 250 people at the expected expanded production levels. Workforce accommodation will be constructed within the vicinity of Julia Creek, allowing adequate lodging for employees and integration with the township.

Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Queensland)

On 27 November 2017, the former Department of Environment and Heritage Protection approved an application for the proponent to voluntarily prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act).

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth)

On 6 September 2017, the Department of the Environment and Energy determined the proposed project to be a controlled action (EPBC 2017/8007) under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The controlling provisions are sections 18 and 18A (Listed threatened species and communities). The proposed project will be assessed under the Bilateral Agreement between the Australian and Queensland Governments (section 45 of the EPBC Act) using the EIS prepared under the EP Act. A request to vary the proposal dated 6 December 2019 was made by the proponent to include the OWSF and associated pipeline. The Department of the Environment and Energy accepted the variation to the proposal on 7 January 2020.

Public notification of the EIS

The process for the assessment of this project is as follows:

  1. Submission of draft TOR
  2. Public notification of draft TOR
  3. Final TOR issued—EIS in preparation
  4. Public notification of EIS
  5. Proponent responds to submissions
  6. EIS assessment report

The final terms of reference for the EIS was issued to the proponent on 21 June 2018. The EIS was submitted to the Department of Environment and Science (the department) in February 2019 and went to public notification from 4 November 2019 to 16 December 2019. All submissions received by the department, including the department’s submission, were then sent to the proponent. The proponent is now required to provide a response to the submissions including any amendments to the submitted EIS. The department will then decide whether to allow the EIS to proceed.

Further information

Current documents

Superseded documents

For further information about the EIS process for this proposal, contact the EIS Coordinator on 13QGOV (13 74 68) or email eis@des.qld.gov.au.