The South Australian (SA) Government has outlined key concerns in its response to BHP Billiton’s environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Olympic Dam expansion.
The Government says BHP needs to further investigate water, waste and transport issues, as well as any radiation and air pollution impact on the local Roxby Downs community.
The 14 week public consultation period on BHP’s EIS closed at the beginning of August, with close to 4000 letters submitted.
The SA Government’s primary concern was with the site’s proposed desalination plant, believing surveys regarding marine life in the Upper Spenser Gulf were inadequate.
According to the submission, the Port Lowly desalination plant was also the most prominent issue raised by the public, with around 95% of letters asking questions regarding the plant.
The Government’s response also calls for more detail regarding Olympic Dam’s proposed tailing storage facility and further examination of the potential long term impact on groundwater aquifers in the Great Artesian Basin.
While the submission praises BHP’s decision to supply up to 40% of its electricity from renewable sources, it calls for more specific detail regarding their implementation.
BHP has said it intends to address all submissions in its supplementary EIS which is expected to be released around the middle of next year.