A proposal for exploration drilling on the Feral Prospect (E70/2227), near the town of Perenjori – 348km from Perth, has been recommended for strict conditional approval by the Environmental Protection Authority.
The proposal by Hermitage Holdings Pty Ltd (HHPL) on behalf of the Devereux Syndicate involves resource definition drilling on the Prospect, located approximately nine kilometres north-east of the Perenjori townsite.
EPA Chairman Dr Paul Vogel said that while close to the town, the proposal is located within Banded Iron Formation (BIF) ranges – specifically within the Koolanooka System made up of the Koolanooka and Perenjori Hills.
The proposal impacts the Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) of the Koolanooka System, which hosts endemic and restricted flora and vegetation and conservation significant fauna.
“The possible effects on flora, vegetation, landforms and fauna, along with rehabilitation, decommissioning and offsets were all important factors considered by the EPA,” Dr Vogel said.
“The proposal is for exploration only and was considered on its merits. It should be noted that any future proposal for a mining operation would need to be considered and assessed as a separate matter.”
The proposed six-week exploration program involves development of 23 reverse circulation drill holes and two diamond drill holes, requiring clearing of 3.24 hectares for access tracks and drill pads.
Strict conditions set as part of the recommended approval will require the proponent to provide:
- a Construction and Operation Environment Management Plan to minimise impacts on TEC vegetation, and avoid Malleefowl mounds and an endemic flora species;
- a Rehabilitation Plan detailing methods, monitoring and contingency measures; and
- a contingency offset strategy in the event rehabilitation is unsuccessful.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 8 June 2015. 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 1549 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au
EPA Media Contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450 / Stacey Molloy 0437 861 315 (Fridays)