The proposal is to develop an upgraded tailings storage facility (TSF) at the Mt Keith nickel mine, located approximately 100 kilometres north of Leinster in the north-eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia Mining.
Processing of nickel ore commenced at Mt Keith in 1994. To date, two conventional paddock storage type tailings cells have been used to store tailings, and the proponent has approval to construct an additional two cells. In 1990, a feasibility study into centralised thickened discharge disposal was initiated at Mt Keith, with subsequent engineering and environmental investigations for a "best practice" storage facility. Test work continued during 1992, and a tailings disposal options study was commissioned in 1993. As a result of these studies, in 1994 the proponent decided to continue investigations into advanced tailings management, and the development of techniques such as centralised discharge disposal.
The need to upgrade the tailings storage capacity has become more immediate due to a number of technical factors and revised projections for nickel concentrate production.