Vimy Resources has announced that its Mulga Rock Project has been approved by the Western Australia Mining Ministry.
Approval is subject to multiple implementation conditions. It is the state’s final primary approval for the Mulga Rock Project and represents an endorsement of the low-environmental impacts associated with the project.
Mulga Rock Project was deemed to have no significant residual impacts upon the environment, if implemented with the required conditions.
This decision allows Vimy to begin work once the appropriate secondary approvals for licences and permits are granted, and once federal approval under the EPBC Act has been acquired.
The assessment process was undertaken under a bilateral agreement between the state of Western Australia and the Commonwealth, although approvals were carried out separately.
Federal approval is expected before March 2017.
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Vimy managing director and CEO Mike Young said: “This is the most significant step in de-risking the project from a regulatory approvals standpoint. We have the state’s tick of approval from an environmental perspective, and the remaining approvals (secondary and federal) should come through before March. We look forward to starting work very soon.”
The assessment process started in July 2013 after Vimy (which was known as Energy and Minerals Australia or EMA) submitted a referral under s.38 of the EP Act.
The process included an environmental scoping document (ESD), which underwent a two week public review from 8-22 December 2014. In addition, it included a public environmental review (PER) with a 12-week consultation period, which ran from 14 December 2015 until 8 March 2016, and an appeals process lasting around three months. These supported the EPA’s conclusion that the proposal may be implemented subject to the recommended conditions.
Mulga Rock project is one of the largest undeveloped uranium resources in Australia. It is expected to produce 1,360t of uranium oxide per annum for approximately 17 years.
Located 240km from Kalgoorlie in the Great Victoria Desert, the project is expected to create around 490 new jobs. It is estimated to provide A$19m ($13.87m) as revenue to the state government as royalty payments and payroll tax.