Mine expansion open for public comment

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has invited the public to comment on a new submission by Phosphate Resources to expand its Christmas Island mine.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has invited the public to comment on a new submission by Phosphate Resources to expand its Christmas Island mine.

The company has made a bid to the government to expand the phosphate mine by 256 ha across eight areas.

In 2007, then Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull refused the company’s application on the grounds that the expansion was likely to have a significant impact on several endangered and migratory species.

However, the Federal Court ruled in 2008 that the decision would have to be set aside as a result of administrative errors.

Garrett is required to reassess the application, including new information provided in the resubmitted document.

According to the Minister, “Christmas Island contains a great wealth of biodiversity. It presents unique environmental challenges.”

“This comment period gives the public an opportunity to raise concerns about this additional information. This includes impacts on species and the marine environment, as well as on social and economic matters,” he said.

“Comments will be taken into consideration when I make my decision.”

The public comment period ends on 23 July 2009.

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