Salt mine south of Alice Springs a step closer

A proposed underground salt mine near Titjikala, 120 kilometers south of Alice Springs, is a step closer to becoming reality.


The NT government’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) today will advertise the draft guidelines for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) about the Chandler mine.


“This is a chance for the public to provide feedback to the government on the range of studies proposed before we start work on our EIS,” says Tellus managing director Duncan van der Merwe in a media release.


The EIS process will be managed by Coffey Environments out of Darwin. Tellus lodged a Notice of Intent with the government in November 2012.


Tellus also lodged a referral under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) with the Australian Government’s Department of Sustainability Environment Water Population and Communities (SEWPaC) in December and the project was determined a controlled action.


Under the bilateral agreement between the Australian and the NT government, the assessment of the project under the EPBC Act will occur as part of the EIS process.


Mr van der Merwe said Tellus was making good progress with the Chandler project, key components of which are:–

• One million tonnes per year edible, industrial salts and associated minerals mostly for export to Asia.

• Complementary storage / disposal and renewable energy businesses.

• A specialist salt packaging plant in Alice Springs with tourism potential.

• Logistics infrastructure at Darwin’s East Arm Port.


The company expects to receive sacred site clearance certificates shortly for the mine site so further seismic work and drilling can proceed in late 2013 to confirm the size and content of the resource and for mine planning required for the definitive feasibility study.


Tellus provided an overview of the project at the recent Australia China Minerals Investment Summit in Darwin in May.


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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Russell Guy
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Having read the Award-winning ‘Mine-Field: The Dark Side of Australia’s Resources Rush’ by Paul Cleary, author of ‘Too Much Luck’, I quote from the Conclusion: “At present, Environmental Impact Statements are patchy and generally biased towards development: that is why so many projects get approved. Independent EISs managed by an independent regulator are the only way to ensure that the public gets a full and frank account of the risks. Instead of the companies choosing their pet consultants to produce statements, the regulator should manage the process independently and charge the cost back to the company. The consultants who produce these reports should be accredited by the independent regulator. Those caught producing dodgy data will find themselves struck off the list, in the same way that ASIC strikes out directors and financial advisers” (Black Inc. Victoria. 2012: 186).
    This book ought to be read by anyone concerned about mining activity in Australia and the current state of government regulation. It’s an interesting, often anecdotal, 196 page paperback and one of an emerging trend critiquing the lack of discernment in managing Australia’s prosperity.

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  2. Posted June 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    This is great news for Central Australia. Hopefully some of the locals will get trained to work in the mine and processing plant.
    It’s just a tad strange that with the earth having 75% of its surface occupied by salt water we have to mine it from Central Australia, one of the driest places on the continent.

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