MMG has submitted a revised referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) for drilling and other preliminary works necessary to inform the design of a new tailings storage facility (TSF) at South Marionoak, Tasmania, to avoid closure by 2024.
To allow the Rosebery mine to continue to operate and support the jobs of 500 Tasmanians, MMG was required to design a new TSF as the current facilities are nearing full and safe capacity.
MMG acting general manager Steve Scott said the company had decided to submit the new referral to clearly delimit the scope of proposed works and ensure these limited investigations can be completed as quickly as possible.
“We want to give the community every confidence that we are following due process as we work to secure the future of the Rosebery Mine and the 500 people it employs,” Scott said.
“The preliminary works will include geotechnical drilling and sampling to assess the suitability of the site for a tailings storage facility.
“We will also conduct additional natural values surveys and mapping of vegetation communities and habitat, as well as any fauna nests or dens. This work is critical to inform the design of the TSF, avoidance footprints and their relative proportions.”
The EPBC referral will soon be open for public comment, and then the Federal Minister for Environment will make a decision on the proposed actions.
MMG has been reviewing a number of possible sites since 2008 and has done extensive work into maximising current facilities and other options available.
After seeking expert advice, conducting risk assessments and progressing the options that were deemed to offer the most balanced solution in terms of social and environmental impact, South Marionoak was the site that MMG decided on.
MMG is preparing an environmental impact statement which will be accredited and assessed under the EPBC Act.