A $382 million exotic metal mine in southwest Australia is on-track to proceed after it was recommended for environmental approval.
Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is recommending Talison Lithium’s Greenbushes Lithium Mine, 250km south of Perth.
The project involves expanding the existing mine and is required to perform targeted land acquisitions and research to minimise the impact on the endangered Western ringtail possum, numbat and Carnaby’s and Baudin’s species of black cockatoos.
A new road will need to be built to divert traffic outside Greenbushes, manage noise, vibration, dust and visual amenity. There will also be water collection and control infrastructure added to help manage the impact on the Blackwood Valley catchment.
The announcement comes just days after Mondium won the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the mine worth $100 million, making it the contractor’s largest ever successful tender.
The agreement involves designing, engineering, procuring and building a new tailing retreatment processing plant at the mine site. Namely, Mondium will oversee the detailed earthworks, concrete works, structural, platework, electrical and instrumentation works and controls.
About 800 construction jobs are expected to be created plus an additional 500 operational positions. No jobs are advertised yet but they will be listed on Mondium’s careers website. Mondium is part of the Monadelphous Group.
“The proponent reduced the size of the development envelope and, in preference to further clearing within state forest, located proposed infrastructure in areas already disturbed,” EPA chair Tom Hatton said in a public statement. “Clearing of 350 hectares of native vegetation on mining tenements – in state forest used for mining since 1888, timber and some agriculture – is unavoidable for the proposal to proceed.”
The EPA’s report to the State Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson has opened for a two-week public appeal period that closes on May 22. The minister will make the final decision on the recommendation for approval.