23/11/2016 - 10:24

Fortescue's Solomon extension plans get EPA nod

23/11/2016 - 10:24

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The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended approval of Fortescue Metals Group’s proposed extension plans at its Solomon iron ore operations near Tom Price, subject to a number of strict conditions.

Fortescue's Solomon extension plans get EPA nod
Fortescue Metals Group's Solomon iron ore mine near Tom Price.

The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended approval of Fortescue Metals Group’s proposed extension plans at its Solomon iron ore operations near Tom Price, subject to a number of strict conditions.

The iron ore giant plans to mine new areas in its Castle Valley and Fredericks deposits to sustain production for a further 35 years.

Its proposal also includes new mining infrastructure such as processing plants and bore fields, while maintaining the use of the existing Hamersley rail line.

EPA chairman Tom Hatton said the proposal was assessed against seven key factors and had recommended 19 conditions, including measures to manage significant flora and vegetation species, terrestrial fauna and groundwater drawdown for water supply purposes, as well as a condition to prevent contamination of groundwater and surface water.

“Other recommended conditions address offsets, rehabilitation and decommissioning of the mine,” Dr Hatton said.

A decision on the proposal will be made bilaterally by the state and federal environment ministers.

Shares in Fortescue were 2.3 per cent higher to $6.26 each at 10:20am.

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