14/02/2011 - 10:37

EPA says no to Whicher Scarp mine plan

14/02/2011 - 10:37

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Western Australia's environmental watchdog says it is unlikely to support any further development on the Whicher Scarp, near Boyanup, after it knocked back Bemax Resources' proposal to develop a new mineral sands mine.

Western Australia's environmental watchdog says it is unlikely to support any further development on the Whicher Scarp, near Boyanup, after it knocked back Bemax Resources' proposal to develop a new mineral sands mine.

Bemax had proposed to develop, mine and rehabilitate two deposits of titanium mineral ore along the scarp, adjacent to its existing Gwindinup titanium project.

The Happy Valley titanium mine plan involved the clearing of 146 hectares of regionally significant native vegetation on the scarp, which Environmental Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel said would result in "unacceptable impacts".

"The area has been significantly impacted by mineral sands mining and nearly the entire Whicher Scarp is subject to current exploration licences or mining leases," Dr Vogel said.

"Over the past 10 years, the industry has developed minerals sands mines in order of increasing environmental constraint.

"The EPA is unlikely to support any further development on the Whicher Scarp.'

Dr Vogel said the natural values of the Whicher Scarp in relation to its landforms, vegetation and flora, were diverse and varied.

"These include a distinct and naturally restricted landform, an ecological linkage, six unique vegetation complexes, a diverse suite of woodland floristic assemblages, diverse and rich flora, restricted and rare wetland communities, centre of speciation, highly endemic flora, more than 60 rare species, 60 species at the end of their range, more than 100 species with disjunct populations, a diversity of unusual and possibly relictual habitats, a high degree of intactness of native vegetation and a biodiversity hotspot," he said.

 

 

 

 

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