Our Projects

Great White Kaolin Project

Project Status

Currently Andromeda and joint venture partner Minotaur Exploration are seeking approvals from the South Australian Government Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) to develop The Great White Kaolin Project.

August 2021:

DEM has accepted and published Andromeda’s Mining Proposal Response Document, which outlines the Company’s response to public and government submissions raised in regard to the Great White Kaolin Project.

View Project approvals and learn more

25+ years

Mine life

34.6 Mt

Mineral Resource Estimate deposit

~A$102.4M

Capital expenditure

75 Jobs

Direct (FTE) jobs at full operating capacity

The Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) contains several high-value deposits containing a naturally occurring blend of halloysite tubes and kaolinite plates.

The GWKP is located within the District Council of Streaky Bay, near the community of Poochera on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

With our joint venture partner Minotaur Exploration, we aim to develop the deposit into a world-class mining operation and produce the highest-quality halloysite-kaolin on the market.

By developing the GWKP, South Australia can become a key supplier of minerals that are essential for the world’s transition to a more sustainable future.

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Market opportunities

The halloysite-kaolin at the Great White Deposit is a high purity, bright white industrial clay.

Kaolin containing halloysite has a wide variety of industrial uses beyond simple kaolin and commands a significant premium above the average kaolin price.

Learn more about halloysite-kaolin

Project approvals

An application for a Mining Lease (ML) for the mine, processing plant and supporting infrastructure was submitted in February 2021 to Department for Energy and Mining.

Applications for two Miscellaneous Purposes Licences (MPLs) for an access road to the ML, and a water supply pipeline from Poochera were also submitted. The Mining Proposal, which accompanies the applications describes the proposed Project, and investigates the possible impacts on the environment. Community consultation is a key part of this process.

In August 2021, DEM accepted and published Andromeda’s Mining Proposal Response Document, which outlines the Company’s response to public and government submissions raised in regard to the Great White Kaolin Project.

Once a Mining Lease is granted, Andromeda will submit a Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) for subsequent approval. Both approvals are required to allow the project to progress to the construction phase which is anticipated in 2022.

View approval pathway

Preserving our environment

With a small-footprint, shallow-depth and planned progressive rehabilitation, the GWKP will be a next-generation mining operation. Our venture will have minimal environmental impacts while presenting a significant economic development opportunity for the Eyre Peninsula community and for South Australia.

Learn more about our commitment to good environmental practice

Partnering with our community

Andromeda values the relationship we have with the local community and will work hard to build and preserve it. Our project will bring employment opportunities and economic benefit to Poochera, Streaky Bay, and surrounding areas.

We will source skills locally wherever possible, utilise a ‘shop locally’ policy and encourage our team to join and contribute to the local economy. Andromeda has made commitments to the community that address public safety, water, transport, and traffic concerns.

For more information on the Project, view the mining lease application or get in touch.

Register for updates

08 8271 0600

Frequently asked questions

General

The Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) is a small-scale mining operation that will develop a world class kaolin deposit. Kaolin from the Great White Deposit is a fine white clay typically composed of 50% mineral kaolinite and 50% granitic sand, formed from the weathering of granite. The kaolinite is comprised of flat microscopic platelets approximately 0.003 mm thick along with a rare tubular (nanotube) form called halloysite. Kaolinite is chemically inert and non-abrasive.

The proposed mining process includes removing kaolin ore from the ground using conventional techniques of excavators and trucks. In Stage One, this ore will be shipped directly to port. In Stage Two the kaolinite component will be washed from the granitic sand and refined. The kaolinite product is then dried and bagged for transport and export.

The Great White Kaolin Project will provide generational jobs and opportunities for the region for a planned Life-of-Mine of 26 years.

The kaolinite product will be used in a range of applications and everyday products ranging from ceramics, paints, agricultural pest control, and paper, through to advanced technology for medicinal uses, air and water purification, soil remediation and battery technology.

Learn more about our products

South Australia has a two-stage approval system.

The first stage includes the application for a Mining Lease. The Mining Lease Application (MLA) and the supporting Mining Proposal for the Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) were submitted to the Department for Energy and Mining in February 2021. The Mining Proposal provides government and the community information on how the Project will interact with the environment and includes studies into the flora and fauna, hydrology, landscape, air quality, communities, businesses, traffic and infrastructure.

A Mining Lease granted by the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) will be subject to Mining Lease Conditions (MLC). A management plan called a Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) is prepared as part of the second stage of the approvals process and submitted to DEM. The PEPR outlines detailed management measures to ensure that the GWKP complies with the MLC. An environmental monitoring program is set out in the PEPR to measure project impacts for reporting against regulatory requirements.

Once the PEPR is approved, Andromeda may commence operations within the Mining Lease.

The GWKP will also be subject to a range of secondary approvals controlled by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and SafeWork SA.

Andromeda is currently awaiting feedback from the South Australian Government and will continue to meet with the community and stakeholders to ensure there is a clear understanding of the GWKP.

Further information can be found here.

The Great White Kaolin Project has an anticipated Life-of-Mine of 26 years.

There are two stages to the proposed Project:

Stage One - Direct Shipping of Ore (DSO) – includes an access road, soil, overburden and Run-of-Mine (ROM) stockpiles, several large sheds and workshops, offices and parking area.

Stage Two – Wet-processing of the Ore - includes a processing plant to allow on-site wet-processing to produce a kaolinite product. Stage Two will require further workshops, gas storage and power generators.

Mining will be undertaken during daytime only, 6 days per week. Wet-processing of the ore will be undertaken on a 24-hour cycle, 7 days per week.

Shift schedules for weekday, weekend and evening work are yet to be determined, however, all activities will be subject to the Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2007.

During Stage One, diesel generators will power operations.

During Stage Two, gas turbines will provide power generation and provide an opportunity to capture exhaust heat and gas for drying the product, providing a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) production and resulting in energy efficiencies. Gas turbines can be run on hydrogen, and it is anticipated that as hydrogen availability improves, the power generation requirements can be switched to green hydrogen.

Pending all required approvals and finance, on-site works are planned for early 2022. Construction of Stage One infrastructure will take approximately 3 months from the approval of the PEPR. Mining will commence immediately after the completion of construction, with the associated processing infrastructure to be constructed thereafter.

Kaolin ore from the pit will be mined using conventional techniques using excavators and trucks, to a depth of approximately 40 metres, with shallow angled walls.

Once the wet-processing plant is constructed (during Stage Two), kaolin ore will be fed into the plant and washed with water from the granitic sand to produce a concentrated kaolinite product. The washed granitic sand is suitable for the building industry and will be sold where possible. If not sold, the sand will be dewatered before being returned to the pit by truck.

The kaolinite concentrate is refined using hydrocyclones, then extruded into noodles, dried and bagged. Bags of kaolinite product will be transported to port using trucks.

Andromeda is committed to open, transparent, and engaging dialogue with communities, including Indigenous communities. Andromeda has engaged with Traditional Owners of the area, the Wirangu, and consider them to be an important stakeholder.

Water

Water is required for wet-processing the kaolin ore to separate the kaolinite from the granitic sand. Water will also be used for dust suppression around the mine, and on local roads. The Great White Kaolin Project has been designed to retain and recycle over 90% of its water.

During Stage One, mains water will be trucked to site from Poochera, as required.

During Stage Two, a water pipeline from the trunk main at Poochera will supply up to 10 l/s, as required.

Both Andromeda and SA Water have a commitment to ensure water supply and pressure in the region to all existing users.

Andromeda will source water for the Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) from the trunk main at Poochera by duplicating the existing infrastructure along Streaky Bay Road. The existing supply line will be supplemented with a parallel pipe (larger in diameter than the existing infrastructure) to the Poochera – Port Kenny Road offtake.

Water supply for the GWKP will be taken at this point while still providing additional capacity for the existing Streaky Bay and Chandada/Inkster water users. A dedicated water pipeline has been designed for the GWKP and will connect to the duplicate pipe and will be installed in the Poochera – Port Kenny Road reserve, from Streaky Bay Road to site.

The existing supply line along Streaky Bay Road will be supplemented with a parallel pipe (larger in diameter than the existing infrastructure) from the trunk main at Poochera to the Poochera – Port Kenny Road offtake.

A dedicated water pipeline has been designed for the Great White Kaolin Project and will connect to the duplicate pipe and will be installed in the Poochera – Port Kenny Road reserve, from Streaky Bay Road to site.

Andromeda is currently working with SA Water to determine pumping infrastructure requirements.

The new connection from the trunk main at Poochera will be designed to supply water to the Project without any adverse impacts to existing water users.

Water available to the wider community will increase at the intersection of Streaky Bay Road and Poochera – Port Kenny Road, after supply to the Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) has been taken into account.

Groundwater drawn from the region’s local bores by current users has been included in the Project’s hydrogeological studies. The nearest groundwater user is 4 km away from the GWKP with no impact expected from the Project.

A hydrogeological study was conducted as part of the Mining Proposal to understand groundwater in the area around the proposed development and the potential effect on current users. The local groundwater is limited and not suitable for use for human consumption. The nearest groundwater user is 4 km from the proposed mine. Modelling predicted potential impacts of the proposed shallow mining and indicates that the Great White Kaolin Project will not affect the ability for existing users to access groundwater.

No - the fracture-bound granite aquifer present beneath Great White Deposit is limited in quantity and too high in salinity to be used in the wet-processing operation. It may be able to be used in limited amounts for dust suppression.

Dust and air quality

Air quality in the region is generally very good, though the area does experience very dusty conditions on occasion. In recognition of the conditions in the region, the Great White Kaolin Project has been designed to minimise dust generation. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will set limits on acceptable levels of dust for the Project, to be enforced as Mining Lease Conditions. Operations must stay within permitted levels. To ensure that the dust generated from site does not exceed the limits set by the EPA, Andromeda will measure and record air quality data both into and out of the site, to be reported publicly on a quarterly basis.

Dust management will be undertaken in a number of ways:

  • Roads will be defined and constructed using aggregates and binding agents.
  • Speed limits will be applied on all mine roads.
  • Maintenance of internal and access roads with use of dust suppressants.
  • The staged mine development will allow areas where the kaolin is removed to be backfilled and revegetated to stabilise the area progressively over the Life of Mine.
  • Covered trucks will be used to transport product, prior to establishing the processing plant (Stage One – operations).
  • The processing plant (Stage Two - operations) will use a wet process, which processes the slurry, dries and seals the product in bags for export.
  • Landscaped earth bunds and boundary vegetation will surround the operating area to provide ground protection and windbreaks.
  • Our workforce employed in the mine area will be trained and focused on safe work practices which minimise dust. A water cart will be used to reduce the likelihood of dust in working areas.

Dust generation from site is unlikely to impact agricultural productivity; in fact, kaolin dust is used in many agricultural businesses to improve soils, control pests, limit sun damage and loss of moisture through transpiration.

Andromeda is currently collecting data using dust monitors and gauges around the Project area to understand baseline dust levels. The Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) will be held to limits set by the EPA. Andromeda will actively manage dust generation and monitor dust in and out of the GWKP mine site.

Roads and traffic

Andromeda has committed to upgrading Poochera – Port Kenny Road and its intersection with Streaky Bay Road in conjunction with the District Council of Streaky Bay, and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. The proposed upgrade of the Poochera – Port Kenny Road has been designed to improve the vertical and horizontal alignments and widen the road where necessary to ensure safety for all road users.

Upgraded designs for the intersection of Streaky Bay Road and Poochera – Port Kenny Road have been provided to the Department for Infrastructure and Transport for review and approval.

Haulage trucks will not be used on Poochera – Port Kenny Road during school bus times.

A traffic assessment has been undertaken for the Great White Kaolin Project by Tonkin Consulting. It determined that A-triple trucks are currently the most suitable for the Project. The A-triple combination is a common truck on the roads and is used to transport grain from regional silos to ports across Eyre Peninsula. Further assessments on suitability of vehicles, sizes and combinations determined that combinations up to quad road trains could be used.

The use of A-Triple trucks will provide a frequency of up to 24 truckloads of ore per day during Stage One, reducing to 10 truckloads of kaolinite product per day during Stage Two for transport to port.

Andromeda is working in collaboration with the District Council of Streaky Bay and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport to determine the appropriate traffic route depending on the port chosen.

Three port options are currently being considered:

  • Thevenard,
  • Lucky Bay, and
  • Whyalla.

For all port options, trucks will travel along Poochera – Port Kenny Road and Streaky Bay Road to the Eyre Highway.

Due to the increase in traffic, there will be an impact on local roads. Geotechnical drilling and engineering studies undertaken for Andromeda have concluded that sections of the existing road require upgrading. Andromeda has committed to redesigning the road to make it safer and suitable for the community and the Project’s requirements.

Andromeda has engaged Tonkin Consulting to redesign Poochera – Port Kenny Road and the intersection with Streaky Bay Road to meet the Austroads standards. Upgraded designs for the intersection have been provided to the Department for Infrastructure and Transport for review and approval. Andromeda is also working with the District Council of Streaky Bay on the required road upgrades.

Andromeda will maintain the Poochera – Port Kenny Road to a safe and operable standard and upgrades to the road will make the route safe for the operation of trucks and safer for the wider community.

Yes. Designs for the upgrade of the intersection of Poochera – Port Kenny Road and Streaky Bay Road have been provided to the Department for Infrastructure and Transport for review and approval. Andromeda is also working with the District Council of Streaky Bay on the required intersection upgrades.

Safety for truck drivers and the public is a paramount concern for the Great White Kaolin Project. Poochera – Port Kenny Road will be upgraded and maintained to ensure safety for all road users. Andromeda will maintain the road to ensure it remains in safe and in a serviceable condition.

In response to community feedback, Andromeda is committed to halting haulage trucks along Poochera – Port Kenny Road during the time of school bus runs.

Economic opportunity

Yes - up to 75 direct jobs will be created in the Poochera/Streaky Bay region with full-scale operation of the Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP). This will bring combined incomes of over $7 million per annum into the community through salaries alone. Increased economic activity in the area associated with the GWKP will support the development of additional services in the region, such as childcare and health care.

Andromeda has a "shop locally" policy and opportunities for supply, contracting and other services will be available. Once the Project gains the necessary approvals, supply requirements will be communicated through Streaky Bay’s Local Business Directory.

Please contact the District Council of Streaky Bay to register your interest.

Andromeda will advertise locally and online for employment opportunities as they arise. You can register your interest and provide a resume to [email protected] or learn more about working with Andromeda.

Andromeda is proudly South Australian. Andromeda is committed to sourcing from locally based and South Australian suppliers, wherever possible.

Please send a capability statement to [email protected] or register for supplier updates.

Environment

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) stipulates noise limits during construction and operation.

Construction activities are regulated under Part 6, Division 1—Construction noise of the Environment Protection (Noise) 2017 (EPP). Mining activities are regulated under Part 4 ─ General noise control provisions of the EPP.

A noise impact assessment undertaken by independent noise experts Resonate Consultants indicates that relevant noise criteria is unlikely to be exceeded by the Great White Kaolin Project during construction or operation. Bunding, site location, design and selection of plant and equipment, will be used to minimise noise impacts.

The deposit is typically free dig, due to the low strength characteristics of the clay and overburden of soil, sand and silts. There are harder overlying rafts of silcrete and calcrete which will generally be ripped with a dozer prior to excavating. Some areas may require limited drilling and blasting, on an as needs basis. Small, controlled blasting will be undertaken to fracture the rock to allow it to be excavated. Andromeda will comply with the Australian blasting compliance limits set out in AS 2187.2-2006 to ensure that impacts are minimised. Any impact is significantly reduced by distance from the mine. The nearest sensitive receiver (residence) is over 1 km from the mine area.

As with any new development there will be an impact on native flora and fauna. The key is to understand and minimise the impact and where possible, remediate to offset the impact. Desktop studies, followed by field surveys were undertaken by ecologists to understand the existing natural environment. As part of the environmental surveys, a wider area around the Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) was included to understand if there could be any associated impacts. The GWKP is located in an area described, on a native vegetation scale, as highly degraded by agricultural practices. Specific attention was given to identifying any listed species that could be impacted by the GWKP, specifically the Malleefowl. There are no expected impacts to the surrounding native flora or fauna or Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES).

The Great White Kaolin Project (GWKP) is predominantly located within previously cleared agricultural land, but in order to access the kaolin deposit, some clearance of existing vegetation will be undertaken. The GWKP footprint has been designed, where possible, to avoid native vegetation. To offset the reduction in native vegetation, a contribution of Significant Environmental Benefit (SEB) is required. As part of the ongoing mine works, the mined areas will be rehabilitated and revegetated.

An access road is proposed along the northern boundary of the adjacent Crown land which is covered by Native Vegetation Heritage Agreement (HA 511). The proposed access road uses a small portion of this land, which has been degraded by historic quarrying. the route for the proposed access road was selected to minimise impact on both native vegetation and arable agricultural land. The route is also the most direct path to the Eyre Highway and therefore minimises ongoing emissions from product transport.

The site will be left in a safe, stable, and non-polluting manner. A mine closure plan will be developed during the PEPR process, which must be approved by the South Australian Government prior to construction of the mine commencing. The mined areas will be backfilled where possible, rehabilitated and revegetated. There is likely to be a shallow depression at the end of the mine life which will be recontoured and revegetated.