Blue Hills Mungada East Expansion Project
public appeals lodged
Including all three key industry bodies
CME, AMEC and CCI
Office of the Appeals Convenor to conclude report
After the EPA’s recommendation against approving SMC’s Blue Hills mine expansion proposal, public interest in the project was again strong with 44 public appeals lodged, all against the EPA’s recommendation (including all three key industry bodies – CME, AMEC and CCI), as well as SMC’s own appeal.
SMC has subsequently met with the Appeals Convenor on two occasions; initially to discuss SMC’s response to the EPA Report and S106 Report, and secondly to discuss vegetation rehabilitation risks and options with experts from Kings Park Botanical Parks and Gardens Authority.
The Appeals Convenor also visited Blue Hills in September. The visit covered:
- Viewing of the Blue Hills Project from the nearest publically accessible view point, John Forrest Lookout (approximately 25 kms south west of Mungada Ridge);
- Inspection of the current and proposed Blue Hills mine site areas, highlighting to the Appeals Convenor the existing significant mining infrastructure (roads, rail, powerlines, mines, camp and associated facilities) already near or on Mungada ridge;
- Inspection of old exploration areas (pads and tracks) on Mungada Ridge where Acacia Woodmaniorum has naturally returned and is growing profusely; and
- Viewing rehabilitated waste rock landforms and transplanted Acacia Woodmaniorum (which were flowering at the time).
It is expected the Office of the Appeals Convenor will conclude its report and provide it to the Environment Minister in early November 2017.
SMC will be meeting with relevant Members of Parliament to provide them with an update on the approval process and seek their support prior to any decision being made by the Minister for the Environment.
About the project
SMC’s Blue Hills mine is located 84km east of Morawa and 225km east of Geraldton.
SMC’s Blue Hills (Mungada) Direct Shipping Iron Ore (DSO) Project commenced operations in April 2013 and went into care and maintenance in May 2015 due to delays in receiving environmental approval to mine an extension of the resource.
The project involves mining, crushing, screening and transport of iron ore from two open pits at Blue Hills. Ore is transported via rail and exported through the port of Geraldton, so far SMC has mined over 4Mt of high grade iron ore. The current DSO resource is 7Mt.
SMC has completed a 5 year rehabilitation project with Botanic Parks and Gardens Authority, Kings Park Science Division; to develop best practice mine rehabilitation procedures. With this Blue Hills extension proposal, SMC has committed to a further five year restoration project with the Australian Research Council to ensure world’s best practice mine site restoration is continued.
Acacia woodmaniorum is regrowing, flowering and seeding
impact to Mungada Ridge after mine size reduction
of the Mungada Ridge will not be permanently impacted
Environmental Impact Assessment
- The EPA is mainly concerned with the impact of the proposal on landform (Mungada Ridge) and a rare flora species, Acacia woodmaniorum.
- Surveys conducted on Mungada Ridge over unrehabilitated and rehabilitated areas in the past eight (8) years show that rare flora (Acacia woodmaniorum) can not only grow, but can reproduce to establish new plants i.e. it is self- sustaining.
- SMC has focused on mitigating environmental impacts as much as possible.
- A 30% reduction in the size of the expansion pit and pit abandonment bund has resulted in a 17% reduction in the area of impact to Mungada Ridge.
- 98% of the Mungada Ridge would not be permanently impacted by mining.
- SMC invested and contributed in excess of $30 million to the Mid West region on local facilities, sports, infrastructure, farm improvement programs, education and medical services.
- SMC founded a $1.2M Morawa Sinosteel Community Fund
- We have sponsored a number of local sporting clubs in the Mid West including the Morawa Tigers and the Geraldton Rovers. We also sponsored the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s touring and training activities in the Mid West region, among other community activities.
- SMC currently provides $100,000 per year to a Wajarri Yamatji Education, Employment and Training Fund.
direct and indirect jobs
in community funded projects
What the Stage 2 extension will provide
The Blue Hills Expansion Project will continue to bring a significant number of jobs and business opportunities to the Mid West Region; and
The future development of the Weld Range Project will bring very significant benefits to the Mid West and State in terms of jobs, contracting opportunities and royalties.
plus additional supply chain purchases supporting…
…new jobs in the WA region
Stage 3: Weld Range Project Stats
State Environmental Approval
Native Title Mining Agreement
900 construction, 700 operations and >5,000 indirect
Project CAPEX mine / rail / port