Environment Minister Judy Edwards has given environmental approval to Hamersley Iron to mine its Yandicoogina Junction Southeast iron deposit, 90km north-west of Newman.
The approval follows the Environmental Protection Authority’s recommendation that the project be approved subject to a number of environmental conditions.
It allows Hamersley to carry out its mining operation and ensures that sensitive aspects of the environment are protected, including significant flora and fauna and vegetation associated with a number of creek lines near the minesite.
This latest approval by Dr Edwards is the fifth major Pilbara iron ore development to be given the go-ahead in the past few months.
Other key approvals include substantial extensions to BHP Billiton’s Marillana Creek (Yandi), Wheelarra Hill and Goldsworthy operations. The Minister also recently approved Stage A of Fortescue Metals Group’s Pilbara iron ore and infrastructure project.
“The current rate of development of new mining projects in the Pilbara is significant and the provision of timely environmental approval for these projects is challenging,” Dr Edwards said.
“The State Government has substantially increased the level of resources available to its key environmental approvals agencies to ensure proper environmental assessment of these projects will keep pace with the rate of development.”
The Minister’s decision will enable Hamersley to increase production at its Yandicoogina mine from 36 million tonnes to 52 million tonnes a year.
Minister's Office - 9220 5050