Open-cut iron ore mine in the Pilbara recommended for approval: EPA Report 1541

Release date: 
16 March 2015

The Australian Aboriginal Mining Corporation Limited’s proposal to mine iron ore in the Pilbara has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority.

The Extension Mining Proposal is expected to mine two to four million tonnes of iron ore each year from the Channel Iron Deposits above the water table at the Extension Deposit.

The proposal is about 70 kilometres north-west of Newman in the Weeli Wolli Creek sub-catchment of the broader Fortescue Marsh catchment, which is under increasing development pressure.

EPA Chairman Dr Paul Vogel said the open-cut mine, which was assessed as an Assessment on Proponent Information, category A, includes the construction of roads, an accommodation camp, ore crushing and processing plant, solar drying cells and a water supply system.

Dr Vogel said the proposal could meet the EPA’s environmental objectives subject to a number of conditions.

“This project will result in the clearing of up to 530 hectares of ‘very good to excellent’ condition native vegetation. For this reason, the EPA has recommended the proponent ensure construction avoids Declared Rare Flora, Priority 1 Listed Flora species and Threatened Ecological Communities,” Dr Vogel said.

“In addition, the proponent will need to adhere to a Flora and Vegetation Management Plan which minimises impacts to conservation significant flora and vegetation species.”

Dr Vogel said in view of the significant residual impacts and risks of implementing the proposal, the EPA had recommended the proponent contribute to a government-established conservation fund to offset the clearing of the native vegetation.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing March 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 1541 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au

Media Contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450 / Stacey Molloy 0437 861 315 (Fridays)

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