The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended environmental approval for a new Pilbara-based iron ore mine, subject to conditions including managing impacts on the habitat of the northern quoll, ghost bat and Pilbara leaf-nosed bat.
Atlas Iron Pty Ltd propose to construct and operate the Miralga Creek Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) Project over four to five years at three mining areas, situated about 100 kilometres south-east of Port Hedland.
EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said the EPA had recommended the proponent contribute to the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund to counterbalance the impact of clearing 219.8 hectares of Chichester IBRA subregion vegetation, which is foraging and denning habitat for the northern quoll, ghost bat and Pilbara leaf-nosed bat.
“The EPA has assessed the proposal and determined it should proceed, subject to conditions including mitigating impacts from noise, dust and vibration on nearby fauna habitat, and taking a staged approach to blasting,” Dr Hatton said.
“Further, the proponent has designed the development envelope to avoid two vegetation types of conservation interest including priority flora and fauna habitat, which the EPA supports.”
The proposal involves the development of mine pits and associated infrastructure including processing facilities, waste landforms and access roads. The site will include an accommodation camp and utilise some existing ancillary infrastructure from the nearby Abydos DSO Project.
During the assessment there were no registered Aboriginal sites located within the development envelope. The proponent has undergone consultation with the Traditional Owners and has committed to ongoing consultation and involvement.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 14 October 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 1689 is available at https://www.epa.wa.gov.au/proposals/miralga-creek-dso-project.
EPA Media Contact: Jayne Rickard on 0400 866 450