The Environmental Protection Authority has released advice and recommendations to the Minister for Environment on the proposal to extend mining at the existing Marandoo mine below the water table by Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd, a member of the Rio Tinto group.
EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said that it is unlikely that the EPA's objectives would be compromised, provided there is satisfactory implementation by the proponent of the recommended conditions.
‘As this proposal is bounded on three sides by the Karijini National Park it demands to be managed with a high level of confidence,’ Dr Vogel said.
‘Extensive hydrological investigations and modelling have been carried out at Marandoo with advice received from the Department of Water and the model reviewed by independent experts.
‘Modelling indicates that springs and pools within the Karijini National Park are unlikely to be impacted by the proposal.
‘However, given the high ecological, cultural and tourism values of these water sources, the EPA has recommended a condition to ensure that these values are maintained in the event that modelling proves to be inaccurate.
‘In the unlikely event that a decline in tree health in the Coolibah Woodlands is detected, the EPA has recommended a condition requiring the proponent to develop environmentally benign mitigation and management strategies in consultation with independent experts.
‘The EPA has also recommended a condition to ensure that dewater discharge does not travel outside the area predicted.’
EPA Report 1355 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au. There is a two week public appeal period on the report closing COB 3 May, 2010.
EPA Media contact: Charlie Maling, 6467 5415, 0400 866 450