A coal mining company that wants to mine near Margaret River has been accused of ignoring environmental restrictions placed on it.
Yesterday the Environment Protection Authority released a report which disapproved of LD Operations’ proposed underground mine, following the watchdog making its recommendations public earlier in the year.
According to the report, the surface mine infrastructure and entrance to the underground would be located on about 80 hectares of mostly cleared agricultural land currently used for cattle grazing and one dwelling.
It suggests rezoning of the land could be necessary for the development of the mine, which would include “extensive underground tunnels totaling 1200 hectares.”
The mine would produce between 1-1.5 million tonnes per annum of run of mine coal and has a life of up to 20 years and mine infrastructure would include two water dams, mine pump-out water facility, enclosed conveyors, land bridges workshop and truck loops.
The underground mine infrastructure would include road voids, a network of conveyors to the surface, surge bin, and a workshop and the reports states it is not proposed to stockpile coal on site at the surface.
The company has appealed to the Environmental Minister to reconsider the EPA’s recommendations that the mine would propose significant environmental and noise pollution risks.
It says a more rigorous assessment needs to be performed and has accused the EPA of ignoring critical advice.
Margaret River resident Ian Parmenter told the ABC LD Operations is not listening to the decision by the environmental authority.
"It’s just farcical, they are just clutching at straws, the potential dangers to the water in this region should rule it out completely, not just for this one mine but from all other proposed mining in this south west corner," he said.
Parmenter believes the studies were sufficient and that coal mining is not necessary in the region.
"The EPA made a thorough analysis of the information that was provided to them and came up with the only logical answer which was this is totally unacceptable," he said.
But Operations managing director at LD Operations denied the company had been given a proper chance when he spoke to the ABC.
"We are still quite confused, it’s a report that really doesn’t highlight anything that we believe justifies the decision," he said.
LD Operations are being advised by environmental groups to give up its fight for the mine.
"We are really overwhelmed LD Operations, in spite of huge public opposition to this project and certainly with the EPA’s recommendations against it, are still pushing ahead," said Climate Rescue’s Simon Peterffy.
"We are really astounded that they wouldn’t take no for an answer."
The report is open for public appeal for another two weeks, and a decision from Environment Minister Bill Marmion to allow the company to proceed with its application has not been made.