EPA considers proposal for a Paste Backfill Plant at Renison Bell

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Bluestone Mines Tasmania Joint Venture Pty Ltd at the Renison Bell mine site.

The proposed paste backfill plant will redirect tailings from the existing tin process plant for dewatering and processing into filter cake. The filter cake will then be stored and combined with cement in a batch process prior to being piped underground to stabilize mined out areas of the underground operations. 

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

"Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly the potential for materials spills. Management and containment measures will be required by the environmental conditions to be imposed," Wes said.

No representations were received in relation to the permit application. Public consultation was open for a 28 day period from 1 May 2021.

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, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania.

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 report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to Bluestone Mines Tasmania Joint Venture Pty Ltd and the West Coast Council for their information.

The decision by the EPA Director in relation to Bluestone Mines Tasmania Joint Venture Pty Ltd, Paste Backfill Plant, Renison Bell Mine, Renison Bell​ ​can be viewed on this website.​

Published on: 2/08/2021