Any areas mined for bauxite around Taralga and Crookwell will be returned to a condition “better than the original.”
This commitment was given at last Upper Lachlan Council meeting by Mr. Ian Levy, CEO of Australian Bauxite Limited, which is currently drilling over a wide area between Crookwell and Taralga.
Mr. Levy also stated that if bauxite mining goes ahead here it will affect less than 0.5 per cent of land area and less than 1 per cent of cleared farmland.
Rehabilitation of mined areas was a core factor in the company’s operations, he said.
The bauxite was located generally near the surface of dry, rocky land areas, and the quarries created would be smaller than existing gravel quarries, Mr. Levy said.
The biggest problem facing the development of bauxite mining in the area was transport, Mr. Levy said.
“How to get it to the rail at Goulburn with the least amount of inconvenience and dust problem for residents is the main problem,” he said.
The preference was to run a slurry pipeline alongside roads to Goulburn railway, where it would be de-watered and trucked to Port Port Kembla.
There would, however, be some effect on the water used.
Mr. Levy said it was anticipated that the mining operation would provide employment for 40 to 50 people drawn from the local area, and could also be of great importance to the continued use of Port Kembla loading facilities.
“We would support the local community, but we need a quid pro quo from the community,” he said.
“The key to the whole operation is landholder co-operation.”
In answer to a question from Cr. Malcolm Barlow, Mr. Levy said that if a landowner did not want mining on his property “we will not go there.”
To Cr. Mike Coley, Mr. Levy said that the presence of mining usually led to a big improvement in the standard of the roads used.
Mr. Levy said the company had about $2.5 million “in the bank” at the present time, which Cr. Brian McCormack suggested was a very small amount for the size of the prokect.
Mr. Levy replied: “We do have the money lined up, but don’t expect us to be loaded up for hand-outs.”
He added that only Australia and Indonesia had the high quality bauxite in demand from importers such as China, and India. .
Smelting would diminish in Australia because of costs, and the ore would be exported to areas with cheap electricity.
Queried on future demand by Cr. Paul Culhane, Mr. Levy said that China would face a crisis in bauxite imports by mid 2014.
“This is the best area to meet this demand because of the rail from Goulburn,”
From the gallery, Mr. Mark Selmes claimed any extra employment created by the mining could be offset by a drop in tourism jobs, and pointed out the environmental issues existing in the Mt. Rae forest.
Cr. Brian Moloney: “Mr. Levy has said that the bauxite lies in poor quality soil, but in wet years such as we’ve just had the best potato crops round Taralga come out of this kind of country.”
To a question from Cr. Moloney, Mr. Levy said this was a State Significant development that would be handled at State level, but that Council would be closely concerned in the final approval.
He added that the State Government had been supportive to date.
To Mayor Cr. John Shaw, Mr. Levy said the company hoped to gain approval in late 2013 and would “scale up” over a three year period.
And to Cr. James Wheelwright, he said the carbon tax would not affect the company as it was “too small.”
However, it would affect the smelting industries.
Mr. Levy said Australia and Indonesia would be the main sources of raw bauxite, with China and India the main importers for refining to alumina, and Russia, China, India, the Middle East and Iceland the principal destination for final smelting to the aluminium stage.
It would require 4 to 5 tonnes of bauxite to provide a tonne of the final product, and it was estimated there was 25 million tonnes of ore in this area.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.