On 18 January 2021, a proposal to build and operate a mineral sands mine south-east of Busselton was recommended for approval by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) subject to conditions including minimising the impact to Carnaby’s cockatoo habitat.
Doral Mineral Sands Pty Ltd’s (DMS) proposed Yalyalup Mineral Sands Project, to be located approximately 11 kilometres south-east of Busselton, would include the development of mine pits and associated infrastructure, a wet concentration processing plant, solar evaporation ponds, and water management infrastructure.
EPA Deputy Chair, Lee McIntosh, said the new mineral sands operation would be located on 453 hectares of predominantly cleared agricultural land, about 6 kilometres north-east of the company’s existing Yoongarillup mine.
“The proposal had the potential to impact on up to three Threatened Ecological Communities, one Threatened Flora species and a conservation-significant fauna habitat,” Ms McIntosh said. “Through the environmental impact assessment process, the proponent has committed to avoid clearing these threatened and significant areas.”
“They were also required to prepare management plans to demonstrate how they would manage potential operational impacts such as groundwater drawdown.”
The EPA has recommended DMS prepare an Abba River Management Strategy in consultation with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.
DMS will stockpile wet zircon, ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile concentrate at the site prior to being transported to the company’s Picton Dry Separation Plant, located 60 kilometres north-east of the mine, for separation using electrostatic processes before being hauled by truck to either the Bunbury or Fremantle Port for export.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is open for a public appeal period, closing 1 February 2021. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au.
The Minister for Environment will make the final decision on the proposal. EPA Report 1695 can be found on the EPA’s website.