The Environmental Protection Authority has provided advice and recommendations to the Minister for the Environment; Racing and Gaming on Iluka Resources Limited's proposal to develop a mineral sand mine one kilometre north of the township of Waroona.Release Date:
10 April 2006Details:
The Environmental Protection Authority has provided advice and recommendations to the Minister for the Environment; Racing and Gaming on Iluka Resources Limited's proposal to develop a mineral sand mine one kilometre north of the township of Waroona.
The proposal, for mining of shallow ore bodies for Titanium minerals and Zircon yielding 245,000 tonnes per annum of Heavy Mineral Concentrate over its four year life, includes three new mine pits, solar drying dams, ore concentrator, associated mine infrastructure and upgrade to Peel Road and intersection of Peel Road and South West Highway
EPA Chairman Dr Wally Cox said that it was unlikely that the EPA's objectives would be compromised provided there was satisfactory implementation by the proponent of their commitments and the recommended conditions.
"As mining operations are close to residents, noise from mining equipment and vehicles has been identified as a potential issue, particularly under certain wind conditions," Dr Cox said.
"Wind direction, speed and frequency will be continuously monitored at the plant site and at several locations surrounding the project area.
"The noise monitoring equipment will be linked by telemetry to the concentrator control room, which will allow the operator to alter the machinery operation when noise regulations are likely to be exceeded.
"It is also proposed to include regular communication with nearby landowners and implementation of a complaint system should noise become a concern.
"If noise levels cannot be reduced down to resident's expectations, the proponent will consider noise attenuation options for each affected property.
"Other measures committed to by the proponent include limiting hours of mining operations from 7am to 7pm six days a week with no mining on Sundays and Public Holidays, noise bunding to be installed around the perimeter of the pits and active mine area and the proponent is presently in contact with the Department of Industry and Resources regarding other safety mechanisms to replace reversing beepers on vehicles.
"Dust monitoring sites will be installed around the perimeter of the mine area, with regular communication with nearby landowners and implementation of a complaint system, including investigation, action and feedback.
"To mitigate for the loss of regionally significant vegetation Iluka has committed to fencing and covenanting adjacent native vegetation, infill planting of vegetation along Ferraro Brook and infill planting vegetation buffers around rehabilitated remnants.
"In consultation with the Department of Conservation and Land Management a fauna capture and relocation program will be implemented
"Also, works to minimise the impact on fauna in the area will be undertaken, such as surveying trees containing hollows for nesting animals, protection of trees favoured by black cockatoos as a food source and salvaging trees with hollows inside the clearing zone to be used later in rehabilitation works.
"The proponent has also committed to reinstate the soil profile at Mullins Sumpland and improve the wetland values.
"For potentially groundwater dependant ecosystems the EPA has recommended a condition requiring installation of additional monitoring wells and development of management criteria to be used in conjunction with a Groundwater Level Contingency Plan in the event of reduced groundwater levels.
"For the possibility of acid sulfate soils a condition is recommended requiring additional site sampling and analysis to conclusively identify acid sulfate soils and the likely impacts on the site.
"Also, a project wide Water Resources Management Plan including all relevant criteria for monitoring and management of surface and groundwater resources to maintain environmental values of the aquifers and brooks on the site has been recommended."
The EPA's report is subject to appeal until close of business Monday 24 April 2006 and available at www.epa.wa.gov.au.
Appeals are considered by the independent Appeals Convenor (9220 5072). The Convenor prepares a report for the Minister for Environment, Racing and Gaming on any appeals that may be received. The Minister then takes into consideration both the EPA's and the Convenor's report when making his final decision on any proposal.
The EPA is a five person board providing independent overarching environmental advice to the Minister for the Environment; Science through the preparation of environmental protection policies and the assessment of development proposals and management plans, as well as providing public statements about matters of environmental importance.
The EPA is supported by the EPA Service Unit. This Unit sits administratively within the Department of Environment but for EPA matters is under the control of the EPA.
Media contact: Charlie Maling 9222 7o62 or 0400 866 450Status: