A proposal to extend the depth and area of existing mine pits in the Pilbara region has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority.
BC Pilbara Iron Ore Pty Ltd proposes to revise its Iron Valley Above Water Table Project, located approximately 90 km north-west of Newman.
The existing project was approved in February 2013. The revised proposal includes the development of a new mine pit, with mining operations extending below the water table, and the dewatering of the underlying aquifer.
EPA Chairman Dr Tom Hatton said the EPA tested the proposal against key environmental factors including Flora and Vegetation, Hydrological Processes and Inland Water Environmental Quality before recommending the proposal could be implemented subject to seven conditions.
“The conditions we have recommended include preparation of an outcome-based environmental management plan to minimise the long-term impacts from groundwater abstraction and surplus dewater discharge run-off, and alterations to surface water flows to Weeli Wolli Creek,” Dr Hatton said.
“Conditions also require the proponent to minimise hydrological impacts to Aboriginal heritage values linked to the creek and to contribute to an approved conservation offsets fund.”
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing October 31, 2016. 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 1585 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au
Media Contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450