The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted approval to the expansion of Rio Tinto’s West Angelas iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, taking the project one step closer to beginning construction.
The expansion was approved with the condition that water resources at the nearby Karijini National Park remain unaffected and that there should be no irreversible damage to flora along the creek.
“This assessment work and recommended conditions constitute a comprehensive approach to management of environmental impacts, following a proactive approach by the proponent and extensive consultation with the EPA,” EPA Deputy Chair Robert Harvey said.
The project will involve the expansion of West Angelas’ C, D and G deposits from 4,100 hectares to 26,700 hectares. The expansion will help sustain the mine’s production to 34Mtpa.
The West Angelas operations is located 130 kilometres north-west of Newman.
In October 2018, Rio Tinto announced that the company and its partners will invest approximately $1.55 billion towards the expansion of West Angelas as well as development on the Robe Valley operations.
Work on both projects is anticipated to commence later this year, with the first ore pour by 2021. Construction on the West Angelas and Robe Valley projects are expected to create up to 1,200 jobs.
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