Australian iron ore company BCI Minerals has received the conditional recommendation for environmental approval for its Mardie potash project.
The recommendations from the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (WA EPA) include 19 proposed mitigation measures for the construction and operation of the project.
Located 80km south-west of Karratha, the Mardie Project is expected to have an annual production capacity of 4Mt of salt, 100kt of sulphate of potash, and up to 300kt of other salt products.
The project includes the construction of seawater intake, processing plant, evaporation ponds, bitterns disposal pipeline and outfall, desalination plant, freshwater supply bores and related infrastructure.
As per the proposed plan, the company will utilise seawater and evaporation for the production of raw salts for processing sulphate of potash (SOP).
WA EPA chair Matthew Tonts said: “The proponent has provided a management plan in accordance with the EPA’s framework for managing marine impacts that demonstrates how marine quality will be managed and restricted to the area of impact predicted by the proponent’s modelling.
“Management actions include dilution of brine prior to disposal and extensive monitoring of water quality.”
BCI Minerals’ subsidiary Mardie Mineral will transport the high-purity salt, fertiliser-grade SOP, along with other commercial byproducts to a jetty in shallow waters.
It will then be transferred by barge to bulk carriers at Pilbara Port Authority anchor points, nearly 25km offshore.
BCI Minerals managing director Alwyn Vorster said: “This positive environmental assessment represents four years of collaboration with the EPA and evidences our systematic approach to approvals and our willingness to engage with stakeholders.
“Mardie’s comprehensive environmental management plans will ensure the environmental values will be appropriately managed and protected.”