20/06/2016 - 14:27

EPA recommends Wingellina approval

20/06/2016 - 14:27

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Gold and base metals producer Metals X has been given an environmental tick for the Wingellina nickel project east of Warburton, although with prices close to their lowest level since the financial crisis a new development may be some way off yet.

A ball of processed nickel.

Gold and base metals producer Metals X has been given an environmental tick for the Wingellina nickel project east of Warburton, although with prices close to their lowest level since the financial crisis a new development may be some way off yet.

The project is owned by Metals X subsidiary Hinckley Range, which the company bought in 2006.

Wingellina has an anticipated mine life of 40 years, with the proposal expected to produce 40,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000t of cobalt.

Environmental Protection Authority chairman Tom Hatton said the project was judged at the highest level of impact assessment.

“In assessing the proposal, the EPA noted the proponent’s efforts to avoid and minimise environmental impacts by using best practice technology, dust suppression measures, minimising vegetation clearing footprints and preparing a mine closure plan which addresses rehabilitation, stakeholder consultation and the decommissioning of mining infrastructure,” he said.

The EPA's recommendation will go to Environment Minister Albert Jacob for approval.

Metals X was up 1 per cent to $1.34 at the time of writing.

Also today, the EPA set an approvals pathway for Gold Road Resources’ Gruyere project, giving it category A assessment.

That’s the lower risk of two possible gradings.

It means the proposal raises only a limited number of key environmental factors, they can be readily managed, and there is an established condition-setting framework, while the proposal is consistent with established environmental policies, guidelines and standards, according to the EPA.

Gold Road executive chairman Ian Murray said the decision had come in the month following granting of mining leases and concluding the native title agreement.

“We welcome this decision by the EPA which demonstrates that the gruyere gold project proposal is environmentally acceptable, and that Gold Road has appropriately and effectively consulted with the relevant stakeholders during the preparation of the referral,” he said.

Earlier this year, Independence Group sold a 4 per cent stake in the Gruyere project, cooling speculation the company might use the deposit to extend its existing part-owned Tropicana project in the same region.

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