Northern Silica project - draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement

Closed 8 Jul 2024

Opened 3 Jun 2024


Queensland's Coordinator-General invites you to have your say on the draft terms of reference (TOR) for an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Northern Silica project.

Prepared by the Coordinator-General, the draft TOR sets out the matters to be studied within the EIS. You are invited to comment on whether the draft TOR adequately covers all the matters Northern Silica Pty Ltd must address when preparing the EIS.

About the project

Northern Silica Pty Ltd proposes to develop the $534.8 million Northern Silica project. The project involves development of a greenfield silica sand mine and processing plants to extract up to 3.75 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of silica sand during Stage 1 (years 1-2), increasing up to 6.25 Mtpa during Stage 2 (years 3+). The project proposes to extract silica from mining lease 100308 with supporting infrastructure located on mining lease 100310, 100313, 100312, and 100311 to produce 121 million tonnes of silica sand over its 25 year life. Northern Silica Pty Ltd proposes to ship product via bulk carrier ocean-going vessels within the Port of Cape Flattery for export to Asia.

On 12 January 2024, the Coordinator-General declared the project a ‘coordinated project’ under section 26(1)(a) of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 triggering the requirement for an EIS.

On 14 June 2023, the delegate of the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Water determined that the project is likely to have a significant impact upon matters of national environmental significance and will require approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC 2023/09485) before it can proceed. The controlling provisions include World Heritage properties (sections 12 and 15A), National Heritage places (sections 15B and 15C), the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (sections 24B and 24C), listed threatened species and communities (sections 18 and 18A) and listed migratory species (sections 20 and 20A). The project will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the Australian and Queensland governments. The Coordinator-General’s EIS evaluation report will be provided to the Australian Minister.

How to comment

Comments on the draft TOR are invited from Monday 3 June 2024 to Monday 8 July 2024. For information on how to provide comments to the Coordinator-General, please refer to the fact sheet Have your say on draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement and accompanying comment form, available online and at the public display locations shown below.

The draft TOR is available to view online from Monday 3 June 2024 to Monday 8 July 2024 at

An electronic copy of the draft TOR will be available to view from Monday 3 June 2024 to Monday 8 July 2024 during the venues' business hours:

  • Cairns City Library, 151 Abbott Street, Cairns
  • Cooktown Library, 33 Helen Street, Cooktown
  • Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge Centre, 1 Muni Street, Hope Vale
  • Laura Library, Laura Town Hall
  • State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane
  • National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra.

Send your comments to the Coordinator-General using one of the following methods:



Post:       Attention: The Coordinator-General

                c/- EIS Project Manager, Northern Silica project
                Project Evaluation and Facilitation
                Office of the Coordinator-General
                PO Box 15517
                City East Qld 4002 Australia

What happens next

The Coordinator-General will consider all comments on the draft TOR, before releasing the final TOR.

The proponent will prepare a draft EIS for the project addressing the requirements outlined in the final TOR.


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