The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended strict conditional approval to extend the Solomon Iron Ore Project, approximately 60 kilometres north of Tom Price.
The Fortescue Metals Group Ltd proposal requires new areas to sustain production for a further 35 years. The new proposal would clear 12,146 ha of land in addition to 6,313 ha previously approved for clearing in 2011. The proposal includes new mining areas in the Castle Valley and Fredericks deposits and mining infrastructure such as processing plants and bore fields and the operation of the existing Hamersley Rail line.
The EPA assessed the proposal as a public review, examining seven key environmental factors including potential impacts to Flora and Vegetation, Terrestrial and Subterranean Fauna and Hydrological Processes.
EPA Chairman Dr Tom Hatton said the EPA had recommended 19 conditions, including measures to manage significant flora and vegetation species, terrestrial fauna and ground-water drawdown for water supply purposes and a condition to prevent contamination of groundwater and surface water.
Other recommended conditions address offsets, rehabilitation and decommissioning of the mine.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing December 7, 2016. Appeals are administered independently by the Appeals Convenor and can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au
This proposal is also being assessed under a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth Government. Both State and Federal Ministers for the Environment will make a decision based on their respective legislation.
EPA Report 1588 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au
Media Contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450