Today’s approval of Sinosteel’s Blue Hills Mungada East Expansion Project will provide a much-needed boost to the local economy and create 130 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs.
Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the decision by the WA Government followed years of consultation with industry in respect to environmental, economic and social impacts.
Mr Howard-Smith said the approval of the project would provide a significant boost to the Midwest and State economy through future jobs and royalty payments estimated at $20million.
“Many local employees and suppliers are now facing a more secure economic future on the back of this balanced and sensible decision of Government,” Mr Howard-Smith said.
“Sinosteel Midwest Corporation has worked diligently through the extensive environmental approvals and appeals process and have deserved the confidence of Government to proceed.”
While the additional environmental impacts of this project are minor - 1.2% of the total area of Mungada Ridge - they have been accompanied by a strict set of environmental conditions.
Mr Howard-Smith said it was unfortunate that it took four years for the assessment and appeal process to arrive at today’s outcome.
He said CME would engage with the Government to advocate for more practical, transparent decision-making for the key environmental factors of ‘landforms’ and ‘social surrounds.’
CME led an appeal against the EPA’s environmental assessment of this project to argue the threshold for significance was inappropriate.
Mr Howard-Smith said CME was disappointed the State Government had not approved Mineral Resources Limited’s proposal to develop the Jackson 5 and Bungalbin East iron ore deposits in the Helena-Aurora range, given the strong economic and employment benefits.