Centrex Metals has secured final environmental approval from the federal government to develop the A$250m ($237m) Port Spencer export facility, in south Australia.

The approvals cover all onshore and offshore facilities required for shipping access and the export of grain and iron ore.

A desalination plant has also been approved, which will provide process water to Centrex’s proposed magnetite iron ore mines in the region.

The desalination plant still requires permission from state government prior to development.

The approvals complete one of the final conditions of the provisional development set out by the South Australian Government in December 2012.

Centrex Metals said it still needs to secure road transport and construction-related approvals.

A separate application is in progress for the Fusion magnetite mine, process plant and pipeline corridor for the mining project, which is a joint venture between Centrex Metals and China’s Wuhan Iron and Steel.

The development is still in the pre-feasibility stage and Centrex recently said it may take another 12 to 24 months to assess the project.

Centrex said the development of Fusion, located 40km southwest of Port Spencer, will underpin the port’s development, and provide an efficient, low-cost route to market, along with other mines in the region.

The government has imposed several environmental conditions, including the development of a Southern Right Whale management plan, exclusion zones and underwater noise limitations for piling and blasting.

Centrex is also required to develop an oil spill contingency plan and participate in the Spencer Gulf Ecosystem Development Initiative.

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