Sinosteel Midwest Group (SMG) today welcomed a decision by the Minister for Environment Steven Dawson to approve its application to expand an existing iron ore mine east of Geraldton.
The decision clears the path to allow mining to recommence at the Blue Hills project, which is predicted to create 130 direct jobs, more than 1,000 indirect jobs and an estimated $20 million in State royalties.
SMG Executive General Manager Stuart Griffiths said the result is significant for many reasons.
“The people of Geraldton and surrounding communities, Sinosteel and taxpayers across the state will all benefit from today’s decision,” Mr Griffiths said.
“Since this Government was elected it’s been adamant in its support for business and industry in this State, today is a testament to Cabinet’s vision and progressive outlook.”
The approval comes with a set of conditions that require SMG to manage, monitor and report on the flora and vegetation at the site.
“Ensuring the environment was managed and cared for has always been a priority for SMG.
For the past seven years SMG has invested significantly in environmental research and science, working in partnership with the Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority’s Scientific Division.
“The science and research we’ve had conducted gives us confidence that any potential impact on the natural environment will be minimal.
SMG was recognised recently by the Association of Mining & Exploration Companies, winning this year’s environmental award for leading practice in Banded Iron Formation ecosystem restoration. This followed being named a finalist for the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum annual Golden Gecko Awards.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the local community and conducting more environmental research with Australian Research Council Centre for Mine Site Restoration, with the results ultimately used to restore the natural vegetation and flora in this area,” Mr Griffiths said.
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About Sinosteel Midwest Group Limited
Sinosteel Midwest Group (Sinosteel Midwest) is developing iron ore and steel materials projects from one of the largest land holdings in the expanding Mid West resources region of WA. It has advanced production opportunities for iron ore at Weld Range, Jack Hills and Robinson Range.
Sinosteel Corporation, one of China’s biggest suppliers of raw materials to Chinese steel mills, purchased Midwest Corporation in 2008. It is committed to the responsible and sustainable development of Sinosteel Midwest’s assets.
Phase one of Sinosteel Midwest’s development is the Koolanooka/Blue Hills (Mungada) Project (Koolanooka and Blue Hills sites) which produced 9 million tonnes over a period of five years – the next phase is the Weld Range project, which is expected to produce 10+ million tonnes per annum for 25 years and will be a cornerstone project to further develop infrastructure in the Mid West. The proposal will create 130 direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs. The project will also provide royalties to the state of approximately $20 million.
The Blue Hills mine expansion project is currently going through the final stages of pre‐mining environmental approval, and has been in the environmental approval process since September 2013.
Sinosteel Midwest possesses the capital, resources, technical skills and the people to continue to play a major role in the development of the Mid West region, and is positioned to continue doing so actively now, by restarting its Blue Hills mining operation. www.smcl.com.au