Sinosteel Midwest Group today welcomed the Environment Minister’s appeal determination for its Koolanooka/Blue Hills Direct Shipping Ore Project. Her decision progresses the Project forward, allows finalisation of environmental conditions, and moves directly to consultation with key Government Ministers and authorities to finalise approvals.
The Minister’s decision follows the recent appeals process which saw 144 submissions calling for full approval of the Project. The appeals were in response to the EPA recommendations that mining in a portion of the project area, Mungada East, should not go ahead in order to preserve an already degraded, very small outlying portion of the Mungada Ridge.
Sinosteel Midwest Chief Operating Officer Giulio Casello said the Company was pleased with the Ministers determination on the grounds of appeal. “The Minister has provided a balanced response to all appeals and a process which will provide clear and auditable measures for us to manage our environmental responsibilities with this Project,” Mr Casello said.
Importantly, in her determination, the Minister acknowledged the environmental impact on the Mungada Ridge is relatively small in scale and short in duration. She also noted that a large number of appellants in support of the Project raised social and economic concerns if the Mungada East area was not mined.
Within this context, the Minister has advised that her inclination is that mining could proceed at Mungada Ridge, and indicated that she will now consult with other relevant Ministers to obtain agreement on the final conditions for the approval of the Koolanooka/Blue Hills Project.
“We are confident this can be achieved in the next few weeks, and the Project can then move through the final Federal approvals process, enabling us to be on site in the December Quarter, 2009, to commence development and mining activities,” Mr Casello said.
“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to members of the community, local business owners, industry representative bodies and local councils and government who have gone to the effort of supporting us through this process.
“This result is a strong reflection on the Mid West community and the Government’s desire to see this important project and the development of the Mid West area and Oakajee go ahead in a timely and environmentally responsible manner,” Mr Casello said.
The Minister’s full determination on the appeals and the Appeals Convenor’s Reports are available at 2www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au.
For more information contact:
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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 Koolanooka, 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.
Sinosteel Midwest possesses the capital, resources, technical skills and the people to play a major role in the development of the Mid West region, and is positioned to continue doing so actively now, notwithstanding the global financial crisis.
Sinosteel Midwest continues to actively develop and explore the potential of its deposits and the outlook for the Company is exciting.
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