An independent study highlights the potential economic benefits of Cape York’s Galalar silica project for the local region, with a jobs boost of about 110 in the construction phase alone.
The Diatreme Resources project is located about 200km north of Cairns and 20km from the port of Cooktown, near the operating silica sand mine at Cape Flattery.
Testwork has demonstrated the project’s ability to produce a premium‐grade silica sand product used in applications including solar (photovoltaic) panels.
Diatreme, which has lodged a Mining Lease Application for Galalar, is still exploring two logistic scenarios – barging from Nob Point or trucking
product from the mine site for loading at Cooktown.
A economic study conducted by Cummings Economics has demonstrated the project’s potential to deliver significant investment and new jobs for the
Hope Vale and Cooktown region.
The majority of the $23‐24 million construction spend would be incurred in
region/Queensland, it found.
This stage would create direct employment of about 25 jobs, with total employment including flow‐on effects of around 110 (equivalent full time positions).
The operational phase would involve total expenditure (with contingencies) of $42 million for the Cooktown loading option or $23.3 million for the Nob Point loading option.
The majority of spending would be in local region; with 53 jobs for Cooktown loading vs 41 for Nob Point. (Total employment including flow‐on effects of 130 vs 90).
The project would generate an estimated $80.25 million annual revenue based on a production target of 750,000 tonnes per annum high‐grade silica drawing a commodity price of S107 per tonne.
The Hope Vale Congress Traditional Owner Group holds a 12.5 per cent
interest in the mining project.
Diatreme chief executive officer Neil McIntyre said the company aimed to fast track the regional benefits that would flow from the development.
“This study demonstrates that the Galalar project will have a sizeable beneficial economic impact on the local region, particularly Hope Vale, and we are working closely with our project partner Hopevale Congress to ensure maximum local benefits,” Mr McIntyre said.
“The people of Hope Vale and Cooktown are looking for local economic opportunities to ensure a sustainable future and this certainly has the potential to deliver.
“We are also aiming to ensure the project is ‘carbon neutral,’ from
mining through to end use, ensuring it is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
“While the COVID‐19 outbreak has temporarily suspended access within the Hope Vale region, we look forward to resuming our engagement with the local community and regional stakeholders.
“The launch of a new silica sand mine will make a significant contribution to the economic recovery process and we aim to fast track the regional benefits that will flow from its development.”