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EPA Board considers Venture Minerals Mine proposal

A proposal to construct and develop a Hematite Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) mine west of Tullah in the state’s north-west has been considered by the EPA Board.

The proposed mine would see the ore crushed and screened on site in an area between Pieman Road and Lake Pieman over a two-to-three year period.

The ore occurs as gravel and laterite on the surface. The proposed operation involves the extraction of surface deposits to about two metres deep.

EPA Board Chair John Ramsay says the proposal was put forward by Venture Minerals Ltd.

Mr. Ramsay said after careful consideration, the Board has concluded that the proposal is capable of being managed in an environmentally acceptable manner, provided that environmental permit conditions are imposed and complied with.

"The Board considered the evaluation of environmental issues associated with the proposal in the draft Environmental Assessment Report, having regard to the information provided by the proponent in the Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan (DPEMP) and supplement," Mr. Ramsay said.

"The Board has imposed conditions in relation to water quality, protection of threatened flora, protection of Tasmanian devil and spotted-tailed quoll dens, road-kill minimisation, and site rehabilitation."

Mr. Ramsay said the Board noted that eight public submissions were received during the 42 day public consultation period.

The proponent lodged a Development Application with a supporting Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan (DPEMP) to the West Coast Council.

The application was referred to the Board of the Environment Protection Authority (the Board) for assessment under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

The proponent referred the proposal to the Australian Government for consideration under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Australian Government determined the proposal to be a controlled action under the EPBC Act (EPBC 2012/6339).

The EPA Board assessed the proposal in the manner specified in the Bilateral Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Tasmania under section 45 of the EPBC Act.The Commonwealth Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities will make a separate determination under the EPBC Act following the Board’s Assessment.

The Board’s environmental assessment, including conditions, has been forwarded to the West Coast Council. The Council will review the planning considerations before deciding whether to grant a permit.

More information is available on the Assessment page.