Assessment process

Our plans for the Huntly Bauxite Mine and Pinjarra Alumina Refinery are being assessed under the State Environmental Protection Act 1986 and the Federal Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has set the level of assessment at a Public Environmental Review, the highest level possible. This is the level of assessment we requested as part of our desire to modernise our approvals and be more transparent. The Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s assessment will run in parallel.

The State and Commonwealth will assess potential impacts associated with the proposed new mining areas of Myara North and Holyoake and with the proposed increase in production at Pinjarra refinery.

We are undertaking a range of detailed studies to inform the environmental assessment:

  1. Flora and Vegetation: Surveys for new mine areas including conservation-significant flora.
  2. Terrestrial Fauna: Surveys for new mine areas including threatened species.
  3. Terrestrial Environment: Assessment of potential landscape and soil quality impacts associated with clearing and mining.
  4. Air Quality: Emissions assessments for mining and refining including dust and an updated refinery health risk assessment.
  5. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Assessment of potential impacts from mining and refining operations along with reduction opportunities.
  6. Surface and Groundwater: Hydrological and water quality assessments for proposed new mine areas and future refinery needs.
  7. Social Surroundings: Assessment of a range of potential impacts including visual amenity, noise, heritage, and recreation (tracks and trails).

We expect to complete these studies around the middle of 2021. They will feed into our final Environmental Review Document, which the EPA is expected to release for an eight-week public review period in the second half of 2021. The entire assessment process is expected to run until around the end of 2022. More information about the EPA assessment process can be found at here.

FAST FACTS

EPA assessment

  • Independent process: ~30 months (2020-2022)
  • Consider impacts from mining and refining
  • Opportunities for public comment
  • Find out more here

Alcoa actions:

  • Alcoa requested highest level of assessment
  • Conducting detailed studies into potential impacts