PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Western Australian Minister for Environment Amber-Jade Sanderson has granted ASX-listed BCI Minerals approval to construct its Mardie salt and potash project.
The approval follows an earlier announcement by the Minister that the recommendations made by the state’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in July this year should be amended to better reflect the intended outcome of the EPA’s assessment and to improve transparency and confidence in the research offset conditions.
BCI said on Thursday that the conditions contained in the Ministerial Statement are consistent with those set out in the recent appeals determination and allow BCI to develop an environmentally sustainable project that preserves the flora, fauna and water systems of the area. The conditions will not have a material impact on the Mardie project design, costings or operations, and will be incorporated in BCI’s environmental management plans to ensure impacts are minimised and managed.
“Environmental approval for the Mardie project implementation is the culmination of four years of BCI studies, surveys and consultation with multiple stakeholders,” said MD Alwyn Vorster.
“BCI acknowledges the significant resources allocated by the EPA and Western Australian government over a long period leading up to this decision. BCI is committed to rigorously managing the environmental conditions set by the Minister to ensure a sustainable multi-generational project. Mardie has greener credentials than most other resources projects: it will not create mining pits or waste dumps; there will be no large-scale dewatering; it will utilise an inexhaustible seawater resource and it will harness the natural energy of the sun and wind to drive production over many decades.”
The A$913-million project is expected to produce 5.35-million tonnes a year of salt and 140 000 t/y sulphate of potash, over a projected mine life of at least 60 years.
With environmental approval now in place, BCI expected construction to start in early 2022, subject to securing secondary statutory approvals and shareholder approval for a A$360-million capital raise to fund the project construction.