The sands mining process is relatively straight-forward and involves non-specialised machinery which is readily available. A basic description of the typical processes are provided as an example:


The process starts with heavy equipment removing the surface vegetation, which is relocated and stored for use in the consecutive site rehabilitation process.

Proposed mining sites are low vegetation, mostly cleared with some patches of rehabilitated blue gum. Predominantly native scrub.


Topsoil layer is ripped to about 500mm using dozer mounted ripper and then removed and stored or translocated for use in the consecutive site rehabilitation process.


Soil (overburden) is removed by heavy equipment to gain access to the identified silica resource. Typically shallow, and depth no greater than 1-25 metres.


Silica sand is removed by heavy equipment and moved by front-end loader to a mobile hopper with a stage one washing and screening system that removes any oversized materials. The silica as a slurry is pumped to the on-site processing plant.


The post-extraction area is rehabilitated in a consecutive process replacing soil and vegetation previously removed.


Rehabilitation will occur possibly concurrently with mining activities so that areas disturbed are quickly remediated as part of the mining process. Final site rehabilitation will include reshaping to restore a land surface ready for the replacement of both subsoil and topsoil and natural lake development with supporting vegetation. Seeding and revegetating, being mindful of protecting for wind erosion, and the replanting of seedlings that best restore the original native vegetation will then follow. Final site elevations will be lower after restoration.