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EPA considers proposal for Far West Deposit at Temma

​​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Tasmanian Advance Minerals Pty Ltd (TAM) for an additional silica extraction area on an existing mining lease at Blackwater Road, Temma.

TAM propose to extract up to 20,000 tonnes per annum of silica from the Far West Deposit, with material being transported to the adjacent Blackwater Mine facility for processing (screening and blending). The proposal is located wholly within TAM's existing mining lease 6M/2016.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded the proposed development could be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. The EPA requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by Circular Head Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered by the Director under delegation from the Board in his assessment, particularly the potential for activies to impact threated species such as the white-bellied sea-eagle and hydrobiid snails. A permit condition imposed by the EPA will require maintenance of an exclusion zone around an existing eagle nest to ensure any nesting birds are not disturbed. The permit will also require management of runoff and sediment to ensure an adjacent creek containing snail habitat is not impacted," Mr Ford said.

One representation was received in relation to the permit application, which was referred to the Board in May 2018. The environmental issues raised in this representation included the potential impacts to threatened species and Aboriginal heritage values, and impacts related to runoff and sedimentation. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period commencing 25 May 2018.

The proposal was considered by the Director in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and in the context of the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the EMPC Act.

The functions of the EPA are to administer and enforce the provisions of the EMPC Act, and in particular to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania, and to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives.

The Director undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.

The Director's environmental assessment, including the environmental conditions that must be included in any permit, have been forwarded to Circular Head Council, for review of planning issues prior to making a decision as to whether a permit is to be granted.]

The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed on the EPA website at http://epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/completed-assessments

For more information please contact EPA Communications Coordinator on 0408 478897