EPA approves new iron ore mine

WESTERN Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority has recommended the approval of a proposal from Australian Aboriginal Mining Corporation for an open pit iron ore mine in the Pilbara.
EPA approves new iron ore mine EPA approves new iron ore mine EPA approves new iron ore mine EPA approves new iron ore mine EPA approves new iron ore mine


Kristie Batten

AAMC applied for approval to mine 2-4 million tonnes per annum of iron ore each year from the Extension project, 70km northwest of Newman.

Mining of the channel iron deposits will be above the water table in the Weeli Wolli Creek sub-catchment of the broader Fortescue Marsh catchment.

The proposal was assessed as an API category A and includes the construction of roads, a camp, an ore crushing and processing plant, solar drying cells and a water supply system.

EPA chairman Dr Paul Vogel said the proposal could meet the EPA’s environmental objectives subject to a number of conditions.

“This project will result in the clearing of up to 530 hectares of ‘very good to excellent’ condition native vegetation,” he said.

“For this reason, the EPA has recommended the proponent ensure construction avoids declared rare flora, priority 1 listed flora species and threatened ecological communities.

“In addition, the proponent will need to adhere to a Flora and Vegetation Management Plan which minimises impacts to conservation significant flora and vegetation species.”

The EPA also recommended AAMC contribute to a government-established conservation fund.

The report to Minister for Environment Albert Jacob is open for a two-week public appeal process.

AAMC is aiming to establish the first Aboriginal-owned, managed and operated iron ore mine in the Pilbara.

However, the project will not go ahead until the company is able to secure rail and port access.

AAMC is part-owned by indigenous contractor Carey Mining.