The state’s environmental watchdog has given Wesfarmers's Australian Gold Reagents backing to proceed with a major capacity expansion at its Kwinana facility.
The state’s environmental watchdog has given Wesfarmers-backed Australian Gold Reagents the nod to proceed with a major expansion of its Kwinana facility after completing a review of the project.
Earlier this year, AGR flagged the expansion to its 34-year-old sodium cyanide plant in CSBP’s Kwinana Industrial Complex in a bid to keep up with the growing demand for gold.
The company currently produces more than 91,000tpa of pure sodium cyanide, used to leach gold from ore, and 45,000tpa of solid sodium cyanide briquettes across its two plants.
AGR is also hoping to connect the two liquid plant incinerators in a bid to reduce the amount of untreated waste gas vented each year.
In addition, AGR wants to transport an extra 651 liquid cyanide containers and 426 solid cyanide containers per year, taking its annual total to almost 10,000.
The increase in capacity is expected to drive scope 1 emissions by more than 20 per cent.
The proposal has been sitting with the Environmental Protection Authority since February, when the company first sought approval.
Having regard to the effects of the proposal on the environment, including the impact of emissions, EPA chair Matthew Tonts advised the state government the plan could be implemented subject to conditions.
Those conditions were outlined in a 57-page assessment report published by the EPA and include restrictions on the size and capacity of the facility.
They also outline the company’s compliance assessment obligations, the authority’s expectations for decommissioning and a requirement that it publicly release its environmental data.
A final decision on whether or not the proposal can go ahead is expected to be made by Environment Minister Reece Whitby.
According to the report, the facility is expected to have a project life of three decades.
The product will be exported across Australia and to Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East for use in gold mining operations.