The EPA Director Alex Schaap today issued a media statement in relation to Shree Minerals EPN.
"I issued an Environment Protection Notice (EPN) to Shree Minerals to provide for the temporary storage of waste rock outside the open pit. That was necessary because the larger than expected amounts of waste rock could not have been stored inside the open pit without extending the pit into areas which could otherwise remain outside the pit footprint.
"To avoid such an unnecessarily large pit I required instead that the material be temporarily stored outside the pit on a specially constructed drainage pad for no longer than 30 months. The material is to be returned to the pit and securely capped after that time and an additional bond payment has been secured to ensure that this will occur.”
"The revised arrangements will impose greater waste rock management costs upon the operator than originally envisaged as the waste rock will need to be moved twice but it does allow the mine to operate more efficiently and with less land disturbance. The temporary storage will not result in a greater risk to the environment and there is no public health risk."
"As a courtesy, I advised Mr. Jordan (from Save the Tarkine) of the issue of the EPN at the time of issue and explained the reasons for it. Similar explanation was provided to newspaper and electronic media outlets resulting in the Advocate newspaper running a story on the additional waste approval in January this year.
The issue of the Environment Protection Notice was a routine and appropriate regulatory response to new information about the amount of waste rock encountered in further exploration."