A new nickel mine near the borders of Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority.
The Wingellina Nickel Project, located 1,400km north-east of Perth in the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku, proposes to mine nickeliferous limonite ore from the Wingellina deposit.
With an anticipated mine life of more than 40 years, Hinckley Range Pty Ltd’s proposal is expected to produce about 40,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000 tonnes of cobalt each year for export to overseas markets.
EPA Chairman Dr Tom Hatton said the proposal was assessed at the highest level of environmental impact assessment, with several environmental factors given particularly careful examination.
“This proposal was assessed as a Public Environmental Review and was open to public submissions for eight weeks,” Dr Hatton said.
“In assessing the proposal, the EPA noted the proponent’s efforts to avoid and minimise environmental impacts by using best practice technology, dust suppression measures, minimising vegetation clearing footprints and preparing a Mine Closure Plan which addresses rehabilitation, stakeholder consultation and the decommissioning of mining infrastructure.”
Dr Hatton said should the proposal be approved by the Minister for Environment, the EPA had recommended seven conditions, including one requiring a revised air quality management plan to minimise the impacts of atmospheric and particulate emissions and one to minimise impacts on a conservation significant flora species from ground disturbing activities associated with the borefield and pipeline.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing July 4, 2016. 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 1568 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au
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