The overall mine operation comprises a small mine site, linked by 13.9km of access track to the transfer site where the barite ore is crushed and stored, then by a 1.3km haul road to the A827. The proposed routing of the heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) carrying barite bypasses villages, other settlements and minor roads, as the current Foss mine traffic will be removed from over 33km of the Tay Valley.
The proposed Duntanlich mine, located below the Farragon Ridge, nestles in a hillside bowl near the upper reaches of the Middleton Burn.
It has been carefully designed to be hidden from key viewpoints, respecting the sensitivity of the popular Queen’s View at the eastern end of Loch Tummel.
The underground operation has a surface footprint of under 1 hectare – less than a quarter that of the current Foss mine but with around three times the average annual output.
In addition to this there are barite ore storage bays, a workshop and separate office and facilities for mining personnel. Contained within the mine site are water treatment facilities to control and treat site run-off and groundwater discharges from the developing mine.
The mining activity undertaken does not involve the use of chemicals or other harmful substances. All discharges will comply with Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) requirements and they routinely monitor all discharges.
Selective mining means that there is no requirement for a tailings impoundment. Any waste rock from mining the access tunnels is stored then either used to backfill old workings or for road repairs. And any operational waste e.g. workshop or office is collected and either recycled or disposed of according to regulations and corporate standards.
Proposed hours of mining operations will be between 0700 and 1900, but 24 hour proposals builds in flexibility for emergency contingency for maintenance and production recovery.
Duntanlich haulage route
Access track and transfer site
A dedicated 13.9km access track will lead eastwards from the mine site, crossing the Farragon Ridge into afforested land and descending to the transfer site in Logierait Wood, to the north west of King’s Stables car park.
Like the mine site the access track will not be visible from the Queen’s View.
Barite ore will be transferred daily from the mine site by ore truck to the transfer site for crushing and storage. A fleet of 3 trucks are anticipated to be on site, each making a total of 12 return trips (36) within a working day.
The crushing operation and barite stockpiles will be fully enclosed, contained within an accoustically clad large agricultural type building to minimise noise, particulate and light emissions.
Haul road to the A827
Crushed barite ore will be taken from the transfer site by HGV to the A827, requiring the construction of a tarmacademed haul road. Once leaving Logierait Wood the haul road and vehicles will be visible for the final 600m before they access onto a modern section of the A827, close to Ferry Cottage. This will not be visible from the Queen’s View.
The full permitted production would generate an average of 17 HGV movements a day (each way) leaving and entering the transfer site from the road network. However, current market conditions suggest initial output will be somewhat less than this. These will operate during daytime (0700-1900) Monday to Friday only.
Final detailed design of the south east corner of the haulage route following consultation
To Aberdeen and Perth Harbour
The route for the HGVs is then eastwards on the A827 for less than 1km to the Ballinluig junction and onto the A9 to Perth.
From here it follows the A90 to the M-I SWACO milling operation in Aberdeen and is shipped from Pocra Quay to oil and gas rigs in the northern sector of the North Sea. It also goes to Perth Harbour where it is shipped – roughly once a month – to the M-I SWACO milling operation in Great Yarmouth, serving oil and gas rigs in the southern sector of the North Sea.
Transport route to Perth Harbour and Aberdeen