Green light for mine proposal

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
Part of the jetty in Derby where mineral sands will be conveyed to barges and later loaded onto bigger vessels
Camera IconPart of the jetty in Derby where mineral sands will be conveyed to barges and later loaded onto bigger vessels Credit: Sheffield Resources

A proposal to mine mineral sands on the Dampier Peninsula between Broome and Derby has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority - subject to conditions.

Sheffield Resources Thunderbird project requires the clearing of up to 1961 hectares of native vegetation within a 5648 ha development envelope.

The company said It would operate for about 40 years and produce 12 to 18 million tonnes per annum of zircon and ilmenite product.

Minerals would be processed onsite before transport by road to the ports of Derby and Broome for storage and export.

The proposal includes upgrading and extending an existing road to provide a 32 km access road to the Great Northern Highway.

Sheffield plans to construct a storage/export facility on existing disturbed land at Derby Port, using barges to transfer the product to vessels off Point Torment.

Existing facilities would be utilised for additional shipping through the Port of Broome.

Under the recommended conditions listed by the EPA, Sheffield would be required to undertake progressive mine rehabilitation to restore habitat suitable for the Greater Bilby.

The proponent would also be required to establish and fund a greater bilby research and conservation plan, aimed at improving the conservation and recovery of bilby populations on the Dampier Peninsula.

The recommended conditions also establish exclusion zones around sites of Aboriginal heritage values and restrict the area of groundwater drawdown to prevent impacts on other groundwater users.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing October 23, 2017.

Appeals are administered independently by the Appeals Convenor and can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au

The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.

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