13/01/2010 - 10:48

Final nod for Sinosteel's Mid West mine

13/01/2010 - 10:48

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Sinosteel Midwest Corporation has cleared the final hurdle for its Mid West iron ore project after today receiving environmental approval from the federal government.

Sinosteel Midwest Corporation has cleared the final hurdle for its Mid West iron ore project after today receiving environmental approval from the federal government.

The approval comes some three months after state Environment Minister Donna Faragher upheld Sinosteel's appeal for the Koolanooka/Blue Hills project, about 160 kilometres east of Geraldton.

There had been issues with the classification of some areas of the project as a category A reserve.

Sinosteel chief operating officer Giulio Casello today welcomed the final approval.

"This is an important occasion for us and the local community. We will start site preparation for full-scale mining within a month and soon thereafter we plan to be mining, crushing and stockpiling ore for transport to Geraldton," he said.

"The Federal approval allows us to mobilise our full initial workforce. Over the next weeks we will build up to about 70 people directly employed on the project, and there will be immediate flow-on benefits to businesses in the region."

Mr Casello said the state and federal approvals processes had been long and complex but the company was comfortable with the close scrutiny to which it had been subjected.

"We are committed to sustainable development as a cornerstone company policy. Our policy provides for comprehensive rehabilitation programs, significant research and conservation funding and generous environmental initiatives," he said.

At peak capacity Koolanooka/Blue Hills will produce up to 1.5 million tonnes of hematite ore a year.

Sinosteel said the project will provide it with cash flow and international credibility as it seeks to develop its much larger Weld Range hematite deposits and evaluate the potential of both hematite and magnetite ores on its other Mid West land holdings.

"Sinosteel Midwest is grateful for the strong support it has received from the Mid West community," Mr Casello said.

"Individuals, local business owners, industry representative bodies and local councils have not only encouraged us but given practical support at every step of the way. They have made us feel part of the community and we are proud of that."

 

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