Ellendale EOI reminder for mining operators

The expressions of interest (EOI) submission process closes in two weeks.
Date: Friday, 16 November 2018

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) is reminding mining operators interested in reopening the former Ellendale diamond mine that expressions of interest (EOI) close on 30 November 2018.

The successful applicant will be chosen by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston after considering the expressions of interest.

“New processing and innovative marketing could lead to restarting of production at Ellendale,” Mr Johnston said.

“So we are looking for a company that will bring fresh eyes and a new approach which will result in a successful restart of mining operations.”

Mr Johnston said that there were still materials known to contain diamonds when the former operation closed.

“This is a rare opportunity for a suitably qualified company with the ability to mine diamond ore, process it and then market the diamonds,” he said.

The Minister said that there were many instances where materials left behind by one mining and processing operation become a source of profit for another company.

“The Government would like the remaining resources at the site to be developed for the economic, social and environmental benefit of the site, the regional community, and the people of Western Australia,” he said.

The Minister said that the invited company would be expected to have experience in diamond mining and marketing, commitment to compliance with the approvals and regulatory requirements of mining in Western Australia, to be competent at all the consultation processes needed for community acceptance of its operations, and be able to fund a new operation.

The Minister said that a new operator would not automatically be expected to address all the legacy impacts remaining after the abrupt closure of the former mine in 2015, but he expected the new company to approach the area with a sense of responsibility to assist in cleaning up legacy issues left by the former miner at the site.

“We will not be telling a new leaseholder how to do its job of mining, but we want to ensure that the successful company does its work safely for its workers, the community and the environment,” he said.

Ellendale formerly produced about half of the world’s highly valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds as well as clear and industrial-quality diamonds.

After the mine was closed in 2015, companies were prevented from applying for mining rights over the area until after undertaking an advertising process to identify a suitable mining company or consortium to apply for a mining lease.

Submissions will be dealt with confidentially through the State Government’s tendering process which is explained in the Request for Expressions of Interest Ellendale Former Diamond Mine document.

Submissions close on 30 November 2018 and will be evaluated by a panel of experts before being presented to the Minister for consideration. Subject to getting suitable submissions, it is expected that the Minister will decide on which company to invite to apply for a new mining lease early in 2019.

Details of how to submit an EOI are also in the document Request for Expressions of Interest Former Ellendale Diamond Mine which can be downloaded from the Tenders WA website.

For more information, visit the DMIRS website or download this fact sheet. A comprehensive Q&A document is also available.