An expansion to an existing iron ore mine in Western Australian’s Pilbara region has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority.
The approved Hope Downs Iron Ore Mine Proposal, 75 kilometres north-west of Newman, includes open cut mine pits and associated infrastructure.
Proponent Hamersley HMS Pty Ltd, representing the Hope Downs Joint Venture partners, proposes to amend the existing Ministerial Statement (584) to develop and operate the Baby Hope proposal, which includes three above water table open pits, associated waste rock dumps, stockpiles and haul roads.
EPA Chairman Dr Tom Hatton said the proposal, which was assessed as an Assessment on Proponent Information – category A, could be managed to meet the EPA’s environmental objectives.
“The EPA has recommended that this proposal be approved, subject to a further set of conditions,” Dr Hatton said.
“In addition to the existing conditions in the Ministerial Statement, the EPA has recommended the proponent ensure all areas within the development envelope are rehabilitated and decommissioned to restore ecological sustainability.”
Dr Hatton said this would be achieved with the implementation of a mine closure plan, which will be regularly revised.
“The EPA has also recommended the proponent contribute funds to a government-established conservation fund to mitigate the significant residual impact of clearing up to 800 hectares of native vegetation in ‘good to excellent’ condition,” Dr Hatton said.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing November 30, 2015. Appeals are administered independently by the Appeals Convenor and can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au
The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.
EPA Report 1562 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au
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