PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has given diversified miner Rio Tinto the go-ahead for its expansion plans of the Cape Lambert port facilities.
Rio is planning to construct and operate a second port at Cape Lambert, to process and export up to 130-million tons of iron-ore a year, up from its current capacity of 80-million tons a year.
Chairperson of the EPA, Paul Vogel said that it was unlikely that the EPA’s objectives would be compromised by the development of a second port, provided that there was satisfactory implementation of certain recommended conditions.
These included the establishment of a buffer zone and conservation area between Cape Lambert and the town of Point Samson, as well as minimising light and noise emissions from the area.
Rio has previously reported that the expansion of the Cape Lambert operating facilities would be the company’s first steps in expanding the Pilbara port facilities beyond a 220-million ton a year capacity.
The early planning to increase capacity to 320-million tons would involve the construction of a new terminal at Cape Lambert, that would be capable of berthing four Capesize ships.
The detailed design and engineering work of the Cape Lambert port expansion was scheduled for completion by the end of 2010.
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