EPA considers proposal for Zeehan Zinc Project Stage 2

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Tartana Resources Limited for the Zeehan Zinc Project (Stage 2) in the West Coast Council area. The proposal was referred to the Board in January 2022.

The proposal is an expansion and intensification of an existing activity, which involves the extraction, screening, and crushing of zinc-rich slag from historic waste stockpiles at the former Tasmanian Smelters site on Henty Road, Zeehan. The large stockpiles of slag have remained on the site since 1948, when smelting activities ceased.

The Chair of the EPA Board, Andrew Paul, said that the Board had concluded that 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 West Coast Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, but particularly the final rehabilitation of the site, as potentially acid forming tailings from the historical smelting activity occur at ground level under one of the slag stockpiles. Conditions, including the provision of a rehabilitation plan within 30 days of permit issue, have been imposed to ensure that the site is rehabilitated once the saleable slag resource has been removed by the proponent", Mr Paul said. “It is expected that the conclusion of this activity will result in an environmental benefit to the site, through removal of the slag stockpiles and rehabilitation of the legacy tailings."

Public consultation was open for 28 days from 4 June 2022. No representations were received in relation to the permit application.

The proposal was considered by the Board 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 Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (the EMPC Act).

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

The Board's environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to the proponent and West Coast Council.

​The decision in relation to Tartana Resources Limited, Zeehan Zinc Project Stage 2, Tasmanian Smelters Site, Zeehan​ can be viewed on this website.

Published on: 11/08/2022