Margaret River coal mine appeal assessed

The next stage in LD Operations’ appeal against its rejected coal mine in the Margaret River began yesterday when the assessor for the government headed to the region.

Earlier in the year the Environmental Protection Authority concluded that the proposed mine was environmentally unacceptable, causing LDO to appeal the decision.

It says the EPA has not been transparent about how they reached their decision.

“Well we don’t believe that the information that’s before the Minister at the moment, or before the EPA supported their decision on the report,” LDO general manager Peter Ross told Australian Mining.

“They sought information from nine government departments and every government department stated that they needed more information.

‘We believe that that’s the case, we need more information and the only way to do that is through a full PER process, including a social impact assessment to see whether or not the project can be a benefit to the south-west region.

Garry Middle, the assessor reporting to the Western Australian Environment Minister Bill Marmion will visit the proposed site today and make his recommendations in August.

His decision could dismiss all appeals by the company, advise more careful assessment or recommend the EPA reconsiders the level of assessment.

Ross also told Australian Mining earlier this month that the appeals process is often not fully understood by people outside the industry and rejected accusations that the company has ignored environmental restrictions.

You can watch Australian Mining’s interview with Ross here.

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