07/07/2009 - 15:45

Sinosteel iron project gains traction

07/07/2009 - 15:45

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The environmental watchdog's conditional recommendation of Sinosteel Midwest Corporation's Koolanooka/Blue Hills iron ore project has prompted a rush of appeals in support for a full approval.

The environmental watchdog's conditional recommendation of Sinosteel Midwest Corporation's Koolanooka/Blue Hills iron ore project has prompted a rush of appeals in support for a full approval.

Last month, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommended that mining not take place on the Mungada East portion of Sinosteel's mining plans and should instead by categorised as a class A nature reserve.

Sinosteel has warned the whole project may not proceed if it does not receive approval for Mungada East, which the company has previously said is crucial for the operation to proceed economically.

Today, Sinosteel said that in the two week public appeals period, the appeals convenor received 148 applications with 144 of those in support of full approval for the project.

Three appeals were made against the project and one appeal releated to a nearby project, Sinosteel added.

"While most projects receive between one and ten appeals during this process, I'm sure this result is one of the most positive ever seen and it is a strong reflection on the community's desire to see this important project go ahead in a timely manner," Sinosteel Midwest Corp chief operating officer Giulio Casello said.

"We are certain the huge number of positive appeals will give the Appeals Convenor and the Minister for Environment a clear view of the overwhelming support for this environmentally sound proposal."

The influx of appeals follows a campaign launched by Sinosteel last month to drum up community support for the project.

Sinosteel has also submitted an appeal.

The EPA recommended approval for the Koolanooka and Mungada West sites.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

Sinosteel Midwest Corporation is pleased to announce that 144 appeals in support of full approval of its Koolanooka/Blue Hill (Mungada) Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) Project have been received by the Appeals Convenor.

Of the 148 appeals received, only three appeals were made against the project and one appeal related to a nearby project. This amounts to approximately 97% of appellants in support of full approval of Sinosteel Midwest's Koolanooka/Blue Hills project.

Sinosteel Midwest Chief Operating Officer Giulio Casello said the company is extremely pleased with this overwhelming result.

"We would like to extend our sincere thanks to members of the community, local business owners, industry representative bodies and local councils and government who have gone to the effort of putting in an appeal," Mr Casello said.

The 148 appeals were lodged during the recent 14 day appeals period followed the release of the EPA's Report on Sinosteel Midwest's Koolanooka/Blue Hills Project. The EPA failed to recommend the Mungada East portion of the proposal for Ministerial approval, and without full approval the project can not proceed economically.

"It is very reassuring to see the community support that we have witnessed over the four years we have been working in the Mid West region turn into action when it most counts," Mr Casello said.

"While most projects receive between one and ten appeals during this process, I'm sure this result is one of the most positive ever seen and it is a strong reflection on the community's desire to see this important project go ahead in a timely manner.

"We are certain the huge number of positive appeals will give the Appeals Convenor and the Minister for Environment a clear view of the overwhelming support for this environmentally sound proposal," he said.

"We would like to thank everyone for their input into this crucial process, and now it is important we give the Appeals Convenor the time and space he needs to consider the Appeals received."

All 148 appeals will now be reviewed by the Appeals Convenor and his recommendation will then be referred to the Minister for Environment for consideration.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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