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20 March 2006 - NSW Department of Planning approves SCM's Newnes Junction Sand Extraction and Kaolin Mining Project

Sydney?s construction sand market received a major boost today with the announcement of SCM's Newnes Junction project, near Lithgow, NSW. The Project will supply 1.3 million tonnes per year of construction sand, and 120,000 tonnes of kaolin clay to the Sydney market.

The project will also supply a wide range of specialty sands for glass production and other strategic uses. Part of the justification for the project is a looming shortfall in future supplies following the expected exhaustion of supplies from Kurnell Peninsula and Penrith Lakes.

The Newnes Project is the first to include an integrated environmental protection package, comprising:

• no on-site processing of sand and clay products, therefore no process water generation or runoff,
• rail transport of the mine?s product,
• a buffer zone to the adjoining conservation lands,
• visual and biodiversity protection through progressive terracing,
• a detailed Green Offset program to assist in rehabilitating 864 hectares of Dargan?s Creek Crown Lands and 5 hectares of endangered Newnes Plateau Shrub habitat, and
• a commitment to purchase a further 25 hectares of compensatory vegetation for biodiversity management.

Project adviser, Ian Wisken, said that the Project would provide a long-term, graded sand resource that would suit many aspects of the Sydney construction market.

He also said that a key driver for the project?s business strategy was its high-grade kaolin clay component.

"Until now, kaolin has been treated as a waste product, and has created difficulties for managing existing sand operations. But we have found important markets ? including import replacement ? for this very valuable mineral," Mr Wisken said.

Production from the project is expected to commence in late 2006.

Click here to read the NSW Minister for Planning's Media Release. (This will take you to a page external to the SCM website.)

Click here to read the Instrument of Consent granted by the NSW Minister for Planning (288kB pdf)

Click here to read the Assessment report prepared for the NSW Minister for Planning by the NSW Department of Planning (3,325kB pdf)