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Minimal impact on BIFs – miners

THE Geraldton Iron Ore Alliance has concluded in a study that less than 1 per cent of the Mid West region’s Banded Iron Formation ranges would be mined under current proposals of its eight member companies. The alliance study was in response to the state government’s strategic review into the BIFs, which called for 15 to 30 per cent of the ranges to be protected as nature reserves. “With iron ore mining impacting such a small percentage of the BIFs, the industry’s development cannot be considered in conflict with balanced conservation of these ranges,” alliance deputy chairman Rob Jeffries said in a statement. “This information puts into perspective the total area presently proposed for mining projects. “There seems to be the impression that a substantial number of the BIF ranges are going to be impacted if mining is allowed to proceed. This is not the case.” Mr Jeffries said the study showed that both the environmental conservation of the BIFs and the future growth of the iron ore industry could be achieved for the Mid West. “Even if all current proposals gain environmental approval and mining doubles over the coming 50 or 60 years, iron ore mines within the BIFs are still unlikely to impact on more than 1.5 per cent of the ranges,” he said. The Conservation Council of WA said many of the BIFs display outstanding conservation significance, with unique communities of plants and animals, and should be protected in A-class conservation reserves.

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