Mungada hematite project takes key step in approvals process
Gindalbie Metals’ proposed Karara Iron Ore Project moved a key step forward with the release of its Mungada Hematite Public Environmental Review (PER) to the general public.The PER, an important part of the State Government environmental approvals process, addresses potential environmental impacts of the Mungada mining proposal. Its release represents a key milestone for Gindalbie, heralding the first stage hematite development of its proposed $1.8 billion iron ore project at Karara, 225km south east of Geraldton. A further PER outlining the project’s second stage Karara Magnetite mining proposal is due for release in the first half of 2008.Gindalbie Community Relations and Environment Manager, Greg Kaeding, said the Mid West community’s support would play a crucial role in seeing the Mungada Hematite mining proposal approved and help pave the way for infrastructure development to begin.“There are major positive implications for the Mid West through this project and once we’ve got approval, construction can begin as early as the second half of next year and the first shipment of ore through Geraldton port in the first quarter of 2009” Mr Kaeding said.“The PER process is an opportunity for residents and other stakeholders to have their say and submit comments about the proposed mining project over a six-week period, during which time we’ll be offering information and gathering feedback through a series of community briefings.”Mr Kaeding said Gindalbie had already been actively engaging with landowners, community members and key business stakeholders.“We want to show just how serious we are about being a major partner and contributor in the Mid West by helping the region tap into these rich iron ore deposits whilst acknowledging the need to ‘tread’ carefully and respect the unique environment,” he said.Mr Kaeding said the recent Government Strategic Review of the Banded Iron Formation Ranges had indicated that up to 30% of the total number of ranges should be reserved. The review also recognised that development planning and environmental assessment of the Karara/Mungada/Blue Hills range system was well advanced, and the creation of a national park or Class A nature reserve was inappropriate at this stage.“Mungada is one of the 28 banded iron formation ridges identified in the Strategic Review and Gindalbie has provided extensive environmental and biodiversity information on its Mungada project area.” he said. “As a result, Gindalbie acknowledges the biodiversity richness of the region and is working to ensure the Mungada mine impact is minimised by limiting development as far as practicable in the high conservation value areas in the region and sharing common mine infrastructure with our Karara mining proposal.“At the same time, we are working on providing greater definition of the available ore resources in the immediate area.”Mr Kaeding said the Karara Iron Ore Project would create hundreds of new jobs and opportunities for skills training to the Mid West region, as well as programs and initiatives that directly benefited the local community, economy and social infrastructure. “We also expect to deliver significant benefits to regional infrastructure through improvements in power, rail and port facilities arising from the project,” he said.