03/02/2010 - 11:27

State backs Toro environmental process

03/02/2010 - 11:27

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The state's environment minister has dismissed the only appeal against the environmental assessment of Toro Energy's Wiluna uranium project, laying the foundation of how the project will be judged for approval.

State backs Toro environmental process

The state's environment minister has dismissed the only appeal against the environmental assessment of Toro Energy's Wiluna uranium project, laying the foundation of how the project will be judged for approval.

Environment Minister Donna Faragher advised Toro Energy that she has dismissed the single only appeal, against the level of environmental assessment protocols for Wiluna as set by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The EPA had set the level of assessment as an Environmental Review and Management Program (ERMP) and this has now been confirmed by the minister.

In dismissing the appeal against the level of assessment, the Minister has set a period of 14 weeks for public exhibition of the
ERMP.

The Federal Government had previously advised Toro that the Wiluna project is a nuclear action requiring assessment under the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and that it will be dealt with under the bi-lateral agreement with the Western Australian Government.

Toro managing director Greg Hall said the Western Australian environment minister's decision completed the project referral stage of the environmental assessment and approvals process for Wiluna.

The state government last month granted approval for a resource evaluation test pit at Wiluna. That work will commence next
month and over a six week period, see about 45,000 tonnes of ore and barren material removed, sampled for various geological
and other test purposes, and then returned to site with the area then fully rehabilitated.

"Toro will now prepare an Environmental Scoping Document which will determine the content of the ERMP," Mr Hall said.

"We plan to have the ERMP available for public exhibition in the second half of 2010 in keeping with our project schedule for planned first production to commence by early 2013.

"At the Wiluna project site, work will commence soon on the previously approved trial pit, and Toro will be lodging a mining proposal with the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum to undertake a heap leach trial to enable further feasibility review of ore processing options."

Toro recently raised A$61 million to further fund the advancement, approvals and feasibility processes for its Wiluna project, 30 kilometres south of Wiluna, along with exploration work and corporate initiatives.

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