Earl Grey Lithium amendment recommended for approval

Release date: 
October 11, 2022

A significant amendment to the Earl Grey Lithium Project has been recommended for environmental approval with mitigation measures proposed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) during the assessment.

The Earl Grey Lithium Project is an open cut lithium mine at the abandoned Mt Holland Mine Site, about 105km south-east of Southern Cross.

The proponent, Covalent Lithium Pty Ltd, received approval in 2019 to clear up to 386ha of native vegetation for a mine pit, waste rock dump, integrated waste landform, processing plant, airstrip, accommodation village, water supply pipeline and associated infrastructure.

The latest proposal is for a significant amendment, to incorporate a solar plant, variation to the air strip, co-disposal of inert refinery waste generated from the Kwinana Lithium Refinery, change in the tailings waste disposal methodology from dry to wet tailings and modification to existing exclusion areas for significant flora and fauna. The changes result in the additional clearing of 56ha of native vegetation.

The EPA has recommended that the proposal be implemented subject to the implementation of a flora and vegetation environmental management plan, the provision of offsets and specifications for rehabilitation, and the development and implementation of a fauna management plan.

EPA Chair Professor Matthew Tonts said the Authority noted the importance of lithium as a critical mineral for future renewable power generation.

"The proposed amendment includes critical infrastructure and renewable energy sources,” Professor Tonts said. “The EPA considered the amendment could go ahead with both environmental protection, and restoration during and after mining, a key part of the decision.”

The EPA’s report and recommendations will be subject to a three-week appeal period, closing on 1 November 2022. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au.

The Minister for Environment will make the final decision on the proposal. EPA Report 1730 can be found HERE.

EPA Media Contact: Jenni Storey on 0434 734 997

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