McArthur River Mine has been given the green light on its planned open-pit expansion from the Federal Government’s Environment Minister Peter Garrett.
Garrett approved the expansion, after lengthy negotiations with the traditional land owners and various environmental management groups.
The approval came with a set of conditions which included the continuation of Freshwater Sawfish and Migratory Bird studies in and around the mine’s operational areas.
Xstrata Zinc Australia chief operating officer Brian Hearne said mining operations would recommence immediately.
“We now have certainty about the future of MRM and are working rapidly to mobilise our workforce,” Hearne said.
“The decision by Minister Garrett supports the fact that the original approval of the mine’s $110 million open pit development in 2006 was correct.
“The legal action was only ever about the process followed by the Commonwealth Government in giving the original approval for the mine expansion.
“It was never about the potential benefits and impacts of the project itself. These had already been assessed,” he said.