22/09/2008 - 15:25

Cons. Council slams Midwest mine plan

22/09/2008 - 15:25

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Midwest Corporation Ltd is the latest mining firm to be targeted by the Conservation Council of WA following the release of an environmental review for the Koolanooka/Blue Hills iron ore project.

Midwest Corporation Ltd is the latest mining firm to be targeted by the Conservation Council of WA following the release of an environmental review for the Koolanooka/Blue Hills iron ore project.

The council said there needs to be restrained development in some areas of the Mid West region, which is host to unique Banded Ironstone Formation Ranges.

Midwest today released its Public Environmental Review document for public comment.

The PER contains information over the Koolanooka/Blue Hills project, where mining is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2009 with an expected mine life of some five years.

The project is located some 20 kilometres east of Morowa and 160km south-east of Geraldton.

The council last week attacked Gindalbie Metals Ltd for its plans to mine magnetite at the Mungada Ridge tenements which has previously been deemed to contain significant biodiversity value.

However Gindalbie had earlier announced that it intended to withdraw the resources contained at Mungada Ridge from its current project assessment until it has a more comprehensive understanding of the conservation and mineralogical value of the area.

"Whilst it was encouraging to see Gindalbie Metals withdraw from proposals to mine Mungada Ridge last week in recognition of the high conservation values of the area, we now see another company targeting the same area with more highly damaging mining proposals," the council's resources liaison officer Tim Nicol said.

"Gindalbie's commitment will be useless if other companies are allowed to mine high conservation areas right next door.

"Without continued Government intervention, we will see a flood of these proposals and the opportunity to save the best of the Banded Ironstone Formation Ranges (BIF) will be lost forever.

"The Government needs to pull the mining companies into line; irresponsible development is not good for the environment and it's not good for the industries reputation."

In a statement, Midwest chief executive Bryan Oliver said today most of the mining work will be carried out in existing disturbed areas which have been previously mined.

Public comment is scheduled to close on November 3.

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