12/06/2009 - 13:59

Sinosteel appeals EPA Mid West decision

12/06/2009 - 13:59

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Sinosteel Midwest Corporation will appeal the environmental watchdog's rejection of a crucial part of its iron ore mining plans, which the company says will prevent the entire project from going ahead.

Sinosteel Midwest Corporation will appeal the environmental watchdog's rejection of a crucial part of its iron ore mining plans, which the company says will prevent the entire project from going ahead.

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) did not recommend mining take place at Mungada East, which is part of the overall Koolanooka/Blue Hills iron ore project in the Mid West region.

At the time, Sinosteel Midwest said Mungada East is integral to the project proceeding economically.

The EPA had recommended Mungada East be classified as a category A reserve.

Sinosteel Midwest was always likely to appeal the recommendation after it launched a community campaign to drum up support shortly after the EPA recommendation was released.

Sinosteel Midwest chief operating officer Giulio Casello said the company has thoroughly reviewed the EPA's report with its environmental consultants and believes there are a number of strong grounds for appeal.

"The refusal to allow mining at Mungada East will result in the entire project not proceeding.," he said.

"This will result in the loss of significant economic and social benefits, including more than 70 jobs and local contracts and purchasing.

"The justification for the EPA's refusal - the desire to preserve an already degraded, very small outlying portion of the Mungada Ridge - is outweighed by this very negative outcome.

"We believe the EPA has not adequately analysed the minimal environmental impact of Mungada East. The area has been previously mined by Western Mining in the 1960s and is degraded. In fact, after the Koolanooka/Blue Hills Project is concluded and rehabilitated by Sinosteel Midwest, the area will be left in substantially better condition than it is today.

"We will also contest that the EPA has not properly considered the generous environmental offsets offered by Sinosteel Midwest which include setting aside 5270 hectares of land for a conservation area, construction of substantial fencing to keep out feral and grazing animals, and contribution to environmental management plans in the sum of $100,000.

"There are a number of other grounds on which Sinosteel Midwest will be appealing and the company has a strong case for the Appeals Convenor to consider.

"We have seen strong support from local government, industry and community members, many of who have committed to sending in their own letters of appeal. With the appeal period closing on Tuesday 16 June, we would encourage all those who have not yet sent in their own appeal to do so now," Mr Casello said.

The appeals process closes on June 16.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options