EPA decides on Ravensthorpe

BHP Billiton is expecting final environmental approval for its planned Ravensthorpe nickel project by mid-year, following an Environmental Protection Authority report released last month.

This latest EPA report to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage suggests clearing, flora protection and community liaison factors can be adequately managed by BHP Billiton.

The nickel project has previously undergone EPA assessment, and was approved by the Minister for the Environment in 1999, but a new report was required following a 2002 proposal from BHP Billiton that involved an expansion of the original plan.

A BHP Billiton spokesperson said the recommendation to the Minister was certainly good news.

"The company has put a lot of work into this, and it is good to know the EPA is happy with it," he said.

Those who have made submissions had until Monday to appeal the EPA’s recommendations, and Ministerial approval is anticipated within six weeks.

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