New Lucky Bay garnet mine a jobs boost for cylcone-hit Kalbarri

Lisa FavazzoMidwest Times
An artist’s impression of the Lucky Bay mine.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of the Lucky Bay mine. Credit: Lisa Favazzo

A new resource project is set to bring jobs to cyclone-hit Kalbarri, with senior management saying hiring local is a top priority.

Resource Development Group board members have approved construction on a garnet mine in Lucky Bay — set to begin later this year — with general manager Keith Mayes saying it would create a permanent workforce of about 60 to 70 people.

“For someone that wants to get into the mining industry, and to build a career, we are expecting the new resource to be significant,” he said.

“We are looking to start our construction next quarter and there are a number of roles to bring on early in terms of the construction.”

If not locals, Mr Mayes said the site at Lucky Bay — 40km south of Kalbarri — would be employing people willing to relocate to the region.

He admitted the cyclone and the housing crisis could create some worker accommodation issues but said the company was doing its best to mitigate that, including meeting with the local government.

“The timing is unfortunate in terms of the cyclone,” Mr Mayes said.

“But, the thing with this project, is it will be a signifiant employer in the district and we want to recruit locally.

“We anticipate a signifiant part of our workforce will have little to no mining experience (and) we are looking to train them on the job.”

Garnet from the mine is for international markets, with Mr Mayes saying demand is growing “rapidly”.

The mineral can be used for processes including abrasive blasting, water filtration and high-tech cutting machines.

“It can cut through a piece of steel that’s 10mm thick like it was butter,” he said.

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