Chris Ellison says 1,500 jobs would be lost if MinRes's new iron ore plans don't get the green light.

EPA rejects MinRes, Sinosteel iron ore mines

The environmental watchdog has recommended rejection of two proposals to mine iron ore in Western Australia because they would cause irreversible damage to the land.


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Good on the EPA, the Chinese are trying to take over WA.

Using the EPA's logic, no mining project could every proceed. They all cause significant land disturbance, as does agriculture, road building, etc. In the context of the percentage of disturbance of the Australian land area, it is negligible.

WA has almost been brought to its knees because of a downturn in mining and the EPA is worried about a "significant land disturbance" from building two new mines. You have to be kidding. Hopefully the ministers will show a bit of backbone and reject this ridiculous decision.

Good luck with the minister approving the PER against the EPA's advice.

It has happened before when EPA knocked back the Gorgon project.

The economical impact of mining that area would be minimal for WA (because of the tiny amount iron in this area). This state will be brought to its knees if it keeps destroying its natural resources because it won't have anything left to offer.

You have just demonstrated, Mr Birney, why the Liberal government lost office in WA. You, as well as the previous government, are living in the past. The banded ironstone ranges and the Great Western Woodlands of the Yilgarn are worth far more to the future economy of WA than an iron ore mine with a limited life. Tourists, including China's growing middle class with money to spend, are coming to WA in increasing numbers. And they do not come to see our cities. Surveys show that international tourists want to see our unique natural areas. Tourism is a very big employer and an expanding industry with huge potential. It is not easily mechanised like mining. More and more the future of mining is in automation rather than people. Preserving and promoting our environment is far more likely to produce long term, sustainable jobs.

Matt Birney should be ashamed of himself. If he had any clue whatsoever then he would know why the EPA have reached this decision. The Helena and Aurora Range is the biggest and the best of all the banded ironstone ranges outside of the Pilbara. The science has now been settled, and the range should now be protected in a class-A reserve. If we are not going to protect the biggest and the best then what are we going to leave behind for our children? Economic benefits? This mine has a total resource equal to between one and two months of the current iron ore production from the Pilbara, or put another way, the annual production from these mines would be less than 1 per cent of current WA iron ore production. Why trash a pristine wilderness for so little benefit?

Carl, you can rest assured that I am not ashamed of my view that jobs for families at this low point in our state's economic cycle are paramount. I guess it sounds pretty awesome when you use terms like "The banded ironstone ranges" and the "Great Western Woodlands" (as used previously in this thread), however when you have lived in the Goldfields for 35 years as I have, you come to realise that the actual awesome bits of the barren landscape around Southern Cross are few and far between. It is just bush and I can assure you that nobody is awestruck when they go out there (save only for a few had-to-find gems). It is just hot, dusty, barren ground that could provide hundreds of jobs for local families if it wasn't for the chardonnay sipping Perth based faceless men at the EPA. In any case, you have referred to the vast nature of the area, the footprint from a couple of mines would be almost impossible to spot from above.

Matt, please trying watching the video at this link (, and after doing so honestly repeat your claim that "it is just bush" and "hot, dusty, barren ground". Anyone who possess two eyes can see that your claims are ridiculous. Then please watch this video ( to see what destruction these mines will cause and then repeat your claim that the footprint "would be almost impossible to spot from above". I am not anti-mining, in fact I am a geotechnical engineer who has worked (and continues to work) in the resources sector my entire career. However, I am also a very experienced bushwalker/hill walker and I know when there are special places that should be protected - and the Helena and Aurora Range is 100 per cent one of these places.

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