The Western Australia (WA) Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended the environmental approval for the Doral Mineral Sands’ Yalyalup Mineral Sands Project.

Located about 11km south-east of Busselton, the Yalyalup Mineral Sands Project involves the development of mine pits, solar evaporation ponds, a wet concentration processing plant and water management infrastructure.

The EPA’s recommendation for the project’s environmental approval to the Western Australia Minister for Environment is subject to conditions, including minimising the impact to Carnaby’s cockatoo habitat.

EPA deputy chair Lee McIntosh said: “The proposal had the potential to impact on up to three threatened ecological communities, one threatened flora species and a conservation-significant fauna habitat.

“Through the environmental impact assessment process, the proponent has committed to avoid clearing these threatened and significant areas.

“They were also required to prepare management plans to demonstrate how they would manage potential operational impacts such as groundwater drawdown.”

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Additionally, the EPA has recommended Doral Mineral Sands, in consultation with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, to prepare an Abba River Management Strategy.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is open for public appeal till 1 February 2021.

The wet zircon, ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile concentrate that will be stockpiled by Doral at the site will be transported to the company’s Picton Dry Separation Plant, which is located 60km north-east of the mine.

At the plant, stockpile will be separated using electrostatic processes and will be hauled by truck to either the Bunbury or Fremantle Port for export.

Last year, Australian Potash has received approval from Western Australia’s EPA for the Lake Wells sulphate of potash (SoP) project.