Thunderbird mineral sands mine: Now is the time for Broome to take notice

Written on the 1 February 2017 by Jael Napper

Thunderbird mineral sands mine: Now is the time for Broome to take notice

Sheffield Resources recently announced that the Public Environmental Review (PER) for their proposed Thunderbird mineral sands mine is available for comment with submissions to the Environmental Protection Authority open until 13 February.

Sheffield has done an enormous amount of engagement about this project, and welcomed every opportunity for the public to learn more about it.   

The mineral sands at the proposed Thunderbird site was touted as the 'world's best' at a recent international conference, with the products in high demand for use in making everyday items such as toothpaste, ceramics and sunscreen.  It offers a considerable and sustainable opportunity for the region.

With a 40-year lifespan this project could seed employment opportunities for our children and grandchildren.  Of course it's not just the 140 employees of the mine itself, but the surrounding businesses who will supply to it directly, and the indirect stimulus of the economy it will provide.

In review of the PER several points stood out to me.  Sheffield has requested that no part of the PER is to be treated as confidential, they clearly have nothing to hide; the proposal does  not involve a controlled action, which means it has no significant impact to the environment; no significant heritage sites were recorded during the surveys of the site; and with the implementation of management actions the overall risk to the Greater Bilby population that occupy the Proposal Area is considered to be low.

To quote Shefffield's Managing Director Bruce McFadzean "With  good  faith,  we  can  co-exist  respectfully;  culture,  conservation,  development, employment and tourism, and income  will  stay in the region supporting families, cultural values, jobs, business and lifestyle."

While it may take a while to read the review, it's time worth spent and everyone who does so is encouraged to make a submission to the EPA.

If you'd prefer a direct conversation about the project, Sheffield encourages all individuals to freely contact them.

Author:Jael Napper

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