Coonarr silica sand mine expansion gets council green light

THE Coonarr silica sand mine, run by Earth Commodities Bundaberg has been approved, subject to conditions to allow it to sell sand from the site.

The silica sand extracted from the area had previously only been approved to be used for its mineral properties such as use in foundry and epoxy industries, architectural coatings, pool and decorative finished. 

Although the site has been operating for since 1996, the councils Planning Meeting of Council report notes "it is possible that sand extraction has historically been undertaken at the site for purposes other than mineral extraction".

"And therefore outside statutory exemptions provided under the Mineral Resources Act 1989," the Planning Meeting report states.

To regularise non-compliance, Earth Commodities Bundaberg applied for a Material Change of Use for extractive industries - extraction of sand for construction purposes.

The council notes the applicant seeks approval for the operator of the mine to allow the sale of sand for construction purposes. 

The application proposes to extract up to 100,000 tonnes of material annually from the same site as previously used.

More to come.
 



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