Media Release

Gippsland Critical Minerals Media Release

  Monday 13th February, 2023

In November 2021, the then Minister for Planning released an assessment on the proposed Fingerboards minerals sands project in East Gippsland, Victoria. That assessment identified a number of issues that needed further detail and work.

Over the past fourteen months, we have worked hard to provide more information and additional processes to address the issues raised in that assessment.

We have gone through this important process because we believe the mineral sands deposit to be globally significant and the minerals to be produced, specifically the rare earth minerals monazite and xenotime, are ‘Critical Minerals’ from which ‘ Critical Metals’ can be extracted that are essential to the functioning of modern technologies and economies.

Rare earth critical metals are essential to manufacturing strategic products particularly permanent power magnets for electric motors used in wind turbines and electric vehicles, aerospace and defence industries.

The Project is anticipated to be a future long life, reliable supplier of rare earth critical minerals feedstock for the production of critical rare earth magnet metals used in global electrification. As such the Project will make a meaningful contribution to reduce global carbon emissions.

In recognition of the changes we have made over this period to build in those stronger environmental safeguards and world-leading rehabilitation practices, and to symbolise that it is now a new and better project, we are now giving the Company its new identity: Gippsland Critical Minerals. 

Gippsland Critical Minerals project will extract critical rare earth minerals from the ground with world leading, environmentally-friendly processes and technology. And it will be done in a way that respects the land, our cultural heritage, and our community.

Critical rare earth minerals are an essential resource required for Australia and the world’s transition to a cheaper, cleaner and greener renewable energy future as we transition away from fossil fuels.

But with a huge global demand for renewable energy comes the need for more critical minerals.

Right now, Australia relies on countries like China to extract critical rare earth minerals and to produce the critical rare earth metals in permanent rare earth magnets. This puts us in a vulnerable position with increasing demand as we push towards a carbon neutral world.

This project is of global significance, underpinning the world’s effort to fight climate change by supplying rare earth minerals to manufacture ‘magnetic' rare earth metals used in renewable energy industries.

That’s why this project is so important environmentally and economically.

Our approach for extracting these minerals will not only supply the nation and other countries with essential resources for renewable energy, but there will also be huge community benefits including the training and upskilling of the local workforce and hundreds of new jobs.

Gippsland Critical Minerals project will become one of the largest private sector employers in the region – creating large numbers of diverse, interesting, high value jobs for current and future generations of Gippsland.

We will create approximately 200 jobs during the construction and operational phases of the project over the initial 20 years.

Our vision is for these jobs to belong to the local community. The best investment we can make to achieve that goal is to provide training, development and reskilling opportunities for locals as well as supporting the next generation of Gippslanders through scholarships and apprenticeships.

The jobs will range from entry level positions suitable for school leavers, apprentice and trainees. There will also be the need for semiskilled to highly skilled positions requiring under-graduate and post-graduate qualifications. These jobs will include full time, part-time and casual positions with many being suitable for job sharing.  

We will hire as many local people as possible: as a multigenerational operation, we are committed to partnering locally with governments, schools, TAFE, universities and other education, employment and training service providers to develop a local workforce.

But to do this right, its critical we respect the land, our community and work with the Gunaikurnai people to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of the area. Central among our values is that of respect which is why this project is going to be unlike any other in Australia.

This isn’t typical open cut mining. We plan to extract the ore containing the minerals by working bit by bit across the site and progressively rehabilitating areas as we go.

We’ve also been preparing an Australian-first, leading rehabilitation and ecological restoration program that will leave the local environment better off than when we started.

As part of our meticulous preparation and planning for an environmentally respectful approach to this project and rehabilitation of land used, we’ve been propagating a large collection of seeds for native grasses, shrubs and trees – species which have been outnumbered by introduced European plants.

As each section of the site is rehabilitated, we will use these seeds to re-establish ecological regions of unique and precious native flora and fauna, the likes of which Victoria has never previously seen.

Leaving the right legacy for Gippsland is a core value to us. As well as the environmental benefits, some of the community benefits of this project includes hundreds of local jobs which will be directly and indirectly created and will span over 20 years in the first stage of operation.

But the greatest benefit of all is the enabling of renewable energy for Gippsland, Victoria and Australia.

Gippsland Critical Minerals has a vital role to play at this critical point in time, enabling our transition to renewable energy and helping to build a cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable future.

As the risks of neglecting our impact on the environment become more glaring and urgent every year, we know it’s time to make the way we live more sustainable. For the sake of the planet, it is vital that we embrace renewable power generation, electric vehicles, and other clean technology.

This project will also have a strict local procurement policy, preferencing local businesses for supplies and services. We will buy local, partnering with local businesses to supply as many of the goods and services we need including as a foundation customer to support local businesses to start up, scale up or build up their capabilities to supply to us and to others in the region, elsewhere in Victoria and nationally.  

We are very proud of this important critical minerals project supporting our transition to renewable energy and the local economic opportunities it will bring to Victoria and Gippsland which is why we have done the thorough and detailed work required to apply for government approvals for the project.

And whist we have done a lot of detailed work and planning on this important project supporting global electrification and de-carbonisation, we are commited to ongoing work. That’s why we will continue to work with the local community and experts to set a new standard in mineral extraction, protecting the environment and creating local economic opportunities.


P: 1800 791 396