16/11/2015 - 11:09

EPA gives nod for WA mine expansion

16/11/2015 - 11:09

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The environmental watchdog has given its nod of approval for the proposed expansion of a Hope Downs joint venture-owned iron ore mine near Newman.

The environmental watchdog has given its nod of approval for the proposed expansion of a Hope Downs joint venture-owned iron ore mine near Newman.

The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended approval of Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting’s proposal to develop and operate Baby Hope, which forms part of the joint venture’s Hope Downs asset portfolio.

The Baby Hope proposal includes three open pits above the watertable, associated waste rock dumps, stockpiles and haul roads.

EPA chairman Tom Hatton said the proposal was recommended for approval, subject to a number of conditions including the implementation of a mine closure plan.

“In addition to existing conditions in the ministerial statement, the EPA has recommended the proponent ensure all areas within the development envelope are rehabilitated and decommissioned to restore ecological sustainability,” Mr Hatton said.

“The EPA has also recommended the proponent contribute funds to a government-established conservation fund to mitigate the significant residual impact of clearing up to 800 hectares of native vegetation in ‘good to excellent’ condition.”

The minister for environment will make a final decision on the proposal.

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