METALLICA Minerals hopes to get a major water allocation for its Cape Flattery silica sand project after it was determined to be a project of regional significance.
In its notice to shareholders, Metallica said it was “pleased to announce that the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water in Queensland has determined that Metallica’s 100 per cent owned Cape Flattery silica sand project is a Project of Regional Significance”.
“This means that the project is eligible to apply for, but is not guaranteed, a water entitlement from the 25,000 megalitres of unallocated water held in the strategic reserve for the Water Plan.
“To seek access to strategic reserve unallocated water, Metallica’s CFS Project will make a submission demonstrating that the proposed water draw would comply with the outcomes prescribed under the Water Plan.
“This compliance is designed to meet the criteria for releasing unallocated water from the Cape York strategic unallocated reserve.”
Metallica executive chairman Theo Psaros said: “We welcome DRDMW’s decision as it recognises the contribution our project is planning to make to the Cape Flattery region. This decision also reflects the Queensland government’s commitment to the development of new-economy minerals such as Metallica’s silica sand project in the Far North.
“To achieve this status, the project had to demonstrate the benefits it would bring to the region, particularly in diversifying the regional economy through delivery of employment opportunities.
“In addition, the status represents an important milestone as we near the finalisation of the CFS Project’s pre-feasibility study due for release in March.”
Metallica said its team of consultants were progressing well towards the completion of the pre-feasibility study, which is designed to demonstrate the economic potential of the Cape Flattery silica sand project.
In a scoping study released in November, Metallica estimated the project’s value to be $235 million over a 22-year mine life.
The pre-feasibility study will provide further detail on the mine design as well as infrastructure required for the operation and the size of the workforce.
Meetings continue to be held with Traditional Owners.
“These meetings involve potential commercial, employment, training and business opportunities that will arise from the CFS Project,” Metallica’s statement said.
“Cultural heritage planning is also being discussed.”