The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended environmental approval for the development and operation of a new gold mine in the Pilbara, subject to conditions related to limiting the impact on fauna habitats and contributing to an offsets fund.
Calidus Resources’ proposed Warrawoona Gold Project is to include two open pits, one underground mine, a waste rock dump and tailings dam within a 1,000 hectare development envelope, about 20 kilometres south of Marble Bar.
EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said one of the key focus points of the assessment was the impact the proposed clearing of up to 398ha of native vegetation would have on habitats to local fauna including bats, Pilbara olive pythons and northern quolls, and on flora and vegetation.
“The EPA has recommended the proponent contribute to the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund to counterbalance significant residual impacts from the proposed clearing of fauna habitat,” Dr Hatton said.
“The Pilbara region is under increasing pressure from growing development and land use and the EPA is supportive of the strategic focus of the Fund as a mechanism to coordinate offsets across a range of land tenures.”
To further reduce the impact to local fauna, the EPA recommended the proponent implement a Significant Species Management Plan to mitigate impacts to the Pilbara leaf-nosed bat and ghost bat and other fauna of conservation significance. The EPA also recommended the creation of a 32 hectare mining exclusion zone to protect vital bat roosts and habitats of northern quoll and Pilbara olive python.
“The EPA assessment also noted the future closure of the mine would be managed under the Mining Act 1978 while any long-term risks to local water quality would be regulated through the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914.”
The EPA’s report on Warrawoona Gold Project to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 8 July 2020. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au
The Minister for Environment will make the final decision on the proposal. EPA Report 1681 on the Warrawoona Gold Project proposal is available here.
EPA Media Contact: Jayne Rickard on 0400 866 450