Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited (ASX:COB) has begun the process of applying for State Significant Development status for its Broken Hill Cobalt Project (BHCP) in NSW.
CEO, Joe Kaderavek, said the company has now held a Scoping Meeting with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and subsequently submitted a formal Scoping Report for assessment.
An application for State Significant Development (SSD) approval will now proceed under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act (1979) including the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) during 2020–2021.
Mr Kaderavek said development consent for the Broken Hill Cobalt Project (BHCP, located23 km west of Broken Hill, will be sought under Part 4 of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.
He said the BHCP qualifies as a State Significant Development (SSD) due to project purpose and capital requirements (capital value exceeds A$30 million).
“SSD Approval provides an integrated assessment pathway and minimises the number of secondary environmental approvals that must be attained for a project.”
The recent Scoping Meeting followed substantial consultation with government, community and infrastructure stakeholders in respect of various environ- mental, socio-economic, and infrastructure / logistical studies.
The Scoping Report provides a comprehensive overview of the nature, scale and planning issues associated with the BHCP and facilitates the preparation of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) which forms the basis of the EIS.
Mr Kaderavek said COB will commission the relevant technical studies to support the Environmental Impact Statement in 2020. The major aspects for investigation in the EIS will include sustainable management of mine and process wastes, rehabilitation and open cut voids, ground and surface water, biodiversity, air quality and socio-economic issues. Work on many of these aspects has already commenced.
It is expected that the EIS will be lodged with DPIE for exhibition and assessment during 2H 2021, however delivery will be influenced by technical and optimisation studies undertaken during the FS. COB will inform all stakeholders via announcements and the media when the EIS will be on exhibition.
COB is developing the Broken Hill Cobalt Project (100% COB) as well as commercialising its proprietary cobalt in pyrite extraction technology. This strategic metal is in strong demand for new generation batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries now being widely used in clean energy systems.