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 is running in parallel.
We are undertaking a range of detailed studies to inform the environmental assessment:
- Flora and Vegetation: Surveys for new mine areas including conservation-significant flora.
- Terrestrial Fauna: Surveys for new mine areas including threatened species.
- Terrestrial Environment: Assessment of potential landscape and soil quality impacts associated with clearing and mining.
- Air Quality: Emissions assessments for mining and refining including dust and an updated refinery health risk assessment.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Assessment of potential impacts from mining and refining operations along with reduction opportunities.
- Surface and Groundwater: Hydrological and water quality assessments for proposed new mine areas and future refinery needs.
- 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 in the second half 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 around late 2021 or early 2022. The entire assessment process is expected to run until around early 2023. This is an indicative timeline only. More information about the EPA assessment process can be found at here.
INDICATIVE ASSESSMENT TIMELINE
(which is subject to change)
Alcoa refers proposal to EPA
EPA considers level of assessment
Alcoa undertakes required studies
Q2 2020 - Q3 2021
EPA public comment period on Alcoa’s Environmental Review Document
Q4 2021 - Q1 2022
EPA publishes report on assessment
Q2 - Q3 2022
EPA appeals process
Q3 - Q4 2022
Ministerial decision, condition setting