Scandium mine plans on display

The Nyngan community is being encouraged to have its say about a proposed new open cut scandium mine at Miandetta that’s touted as one that would create an estimated 70 jobs. 

Proponent EMC Metals Australia reported it was “confident we’re on the right track” as its plans were placed on exhibition for public consultation last week.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment now wants to hear the community’s views about the proposed mine on the corner of the Barrier Highway and Gilgai Road, about 20km from Nyngan.

Representatives from Scandium International Mining Corp, the parent company of EMC Metals Australia, were in town late last year and again last week to discuss the proposed Nyngan Scandium Project. 

Scandium is a high value metal used in the automotive and aerospace industries. 

Mayor Ray Donald said he and Bogan Shire Council representatives were at last week’s meeting and that the company estimated it would employ up to 70 people. 

“It looks like it has a lot of potential to start construction in 2017 and be operational in 2018,” Cr Donald said.

The department reports the proposal, on public exhibition until June 24, is to develop an open cut scandium mine to extract and process up to 175,000 tonnes of ore per year, and produce up to 45 tonnes of scandium oxide per year over a 26-year mine life.

It also includes construction and operation of a new processing plant and associated infrastructure, including a storage facility for processing waste, water management structures and access roads.

Transporting product from the mine via road and progressively rehabilitating the site also forms part of the plans.

A department spokesperson said the local community always had an opportunity to share its views.

“Community consultation is an integral part of the planning process and the applicant will have to respond to the feedback we receive,” the spokesperson said.

“This feedback is taken into consideration when we develop our recommendations.

“It’s easy to participate by going online and we encourage everyone to take a look and have their say.”

John Thompson, who EMC Metals appointed to lead the project in 2011, said last week’s meeting went well.

“We’re confident we’re on the right track,” he said.

He encouraged people looking for more information to view the documents, available locally online and at the Bogan Shire Council.