Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended approval for Vimy Resources’ Mulga Rock uranium project in the eastern Goldfields.
Mulga Rock has an expected life of 16 years and will mine up to 4.5 million tonnes per year of ore from four deposits. It will produce up to 1,360t of uranium oxide concentrate (UOC) every year, which will be transported by road to Port Adelaide in sealed steel drums.
The project is located about 240km east-northeast of Kalgoorlie and will also extract copper, zinc, nickel, and cobalt.
Prior to recommending approval, EPA examined Vimy’s proposal and tested its environmental acceptability against six key environmental factors, including potential impacts to flora and vegetation, terrestrial fauna, human health, and inland waters environmental quality.
As part of the environmental impact assessment, EPA discussed with Vimy and considered nine government agency, ten public submissions, and 1,173 pro-forma submissions received during the 12-week public review period.
EPA's chairman Dr Tom Hatton said: “Each proposal scrutinised by the EPA is done so on a case-by-case basis and in this instance, the EPA has recommended the Mulga Rock Uranium Project be approved subject to a suite of stringent conditions.”
As part of the conditions, Vimy is required to prepare an aboriginal heritage management plan to make sure that impacts to registered and unregistered sites are low.
The EPA concluded radiation exposure to mine-site workers and the public would be within acceptable limits for human health.
Vimy Resources' CEO and managing director Mike Young said: “This is a fantastic outcome, the EPA has undertaken a very efficient and thorough assessment and concluded that our Project should be implemented and we see no reason why the State and Federal Ministers would not agree with that assessment.”