The boss of an emerging silica miner says the state government’s designation of its Cape Flattery project as one of significant importance will mean additional jobs for Hope Vale and Cooktown.
Last week, the publicly-listed Diatreme Resources announced to the ASX that the Queensland government had declared the Northern Silica Project (NSP), located in the Hope Vale local government area, as a coordinated project.
Under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, a project can be given coordinated status if it meets one or more of a number of characteristics, including having significant environmental effects, or strategic significance to the region or state in terms of economic and social benefits, capital investment or employment.
The designation means the NSP will have its regulatory approvals coordinated by the Office of the Coordinator-General, with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be assessed through a bilateral agreement between the state and Commonwealth governments.
While coordinated project status is designed to streamline the development process, the Department of State Development and Infrastructure said the declaration “does not exempt the project proponent from the need to obtain necessary development approvals, and comply with the relevant planning and environment laws and planning instruments”.
Diatreme Resources will now prepare a draft terms of reference for the EIS, which will be released for public comment.
The company’s CEO, Neil McIntyre, welcomed the declaration and reaffirmed Diatreme Resources’ commitment to engaging with local stakeholders throughout the EIS process.
“The NSP will deliver valuable new jobs and other economic benefits for the local community of Hope Vale [and] Cooktown, with a strong focus on Indigenous employment and creating business opportunities,” he said.
“We look forward to advancing the EIS process, with Diatreme strongly committed to the highest possible level of environmental and social management and engagement with local stakeholders to ensure the project both meets and exceeds community expectation.”
The coordinated project decision follows the NSP being identified as one of regional significance by the state government in August 2023, and comes on the back of Diatreme Resources signing a memorandum of cooperation with Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council aimed at securing “mutually beneficial opportunities” for the community through the Northern Silica Project.