EPA recommends environmental approval of Yalyalup sand mine

Release date: 
January 18, 2021

A proposal to build and operate a mineral sands mine south-east of Busselton has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) subject to conditions including minimising the impact to Carnaby’s cockatoo habitat.

The Yalyalup Mineral Sands Project, about 11km south-east of Busselton, includes the development of mine pits, solar evaporation ponds, a wet concentration processing plant and water management infrastructure.

EPA Deputy Chair Lee McIntosh said the new mineral sands operation would be located on 453 hectares of predominantly cleared agricultural land, about 6km north-east of the company’s existing Yoongarillup mine.

“The proposal had the potential to impact on up to three Threatened Ecological Communities, one Threatened Flora species and a conservation-significant fauna habitat,” Ms McIntosh said. “Through the environmental impact assessment process, the proponent has committed to avoid clearing these threatened and significant areas.

“They were also required to prepare management plans to demonstrate how they would manage potential operational impacts such as groundwater drawdown.” The EPA has recommended the proponent prepare an Abba River Management Strategy in consultation with the South West Aboriginal Land and

Sea Council. The proponent, Doral Mineral Sands Pty Ltd, will stockpile wet zircon, ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile concentrate at the site prior to being transported to Doral’s Picton Dry Separation Plant, located 60 km north-east of the mine, for separation using electrostatic processes before being hauled by truck to either the Bunbury or Fremantle Port for export.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 1 February 2021. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au.

The Minister for Environment will make the final decision on the proposal. EPA Report 1695 can be found on the EPA website.

EPA Media Contact: Jayne Rickard on 0400 866 450

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