Destructive Sandmining

Mining on Stradbroke Island

There are three mines on North Stradbroke Island, all owned by Sibelco Australia Limited (formerly called Unimin Australia Limited), a Belgian owned multi-national company:-
  1. Enterprise, also known as ’Devastation South’ which would run out of minerals by 2027 (at the latest) anyway, even if allowed to continue longer (see official information under ‘library/resources’ tab).
  2. Yarraman (Devastation North) which runs out of minerals in 2013.
    Mining at the Enterprise and Yarraman mines is for mineral sands: zircon, rutile and ilmenite. The main mining method is dredge mining, with some dry mining. These two mines employ about 100 people, only half of whom live on the island.
  3. The third mine, Vance, a silica sand mine (Devastation West) employs only 13 people.
All three mines are continually on the move. Areas in the path of the mines are completely cleared of vegetation, much of which is burned. Then the sand dunes, many of which formed over hundreds of thousands of years and which consist of complex layers are destroyed in the process of extracting the minerals.

Size of the mines

These mines are very large.  The image below shows the Enterprise mine overlayed on top of central Brisbane. It shows the mine would cover much of New Farm and Fortitude Valley, extend south past Dutton Park and north almost to Kelvin Grove. (Click to enlarge.)

The Enterprise mine, overlayed on central Brisbane, shows the huge size of the mine.

Mining leases almost covered Straddie

Until recently, mining leases issued by the Queensland government almost covered Stradbroke Island, as this government maps shows. See more. In 2011 some mined areas were declared  ‘national park recovery’, under government policy which is to declare once special environment ‘national park’ after the mining company has finished with it. But the public has been denied access to this national park despite, in some areas, mining concluding decades ago. This exposes as a myth the mining company claims that these mined areas have been ‘rehabilitated’ and are ‘national park ready’.