As part of our desire to keep adding value and to meet contemporary expectations, we are seeking to modernise the environmental approvals for our Huntly Bauxite Mine and Pinjarra Alumina Refinery.
This environmental approval project has three components which will require State and / or Commonwealth assessment and approval. These components are:
- Mine: transition of the Huntly Bauxite Mine to new mine regions in Myara North and Holyoake;
- Refinery: increasing production capacity from 5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 5.25 Mtpa at the Pinjarra Alumina Refinery including development of water storage ponds and associated borrow pits; and
- Export: supply of up to 2.5 Mtpa of bauxite for export.
Since lodging our project proposal in June 2020, we have been undertaking extensive studies into relevant environmental, social and engineering factors and consulting widely with stakeholders and communities. These have informed our scope of work and approval processes.
On the back of this ongoing work, we varied our project with approvals granted by the State and Commonwealth in March 2021. The Holyoake Mine Study Area was reduced by 1,012 hectares (ha) primarily to address potential amenity impacts on private properties, the Bibbulmun Track and Pinjarra Williams Road. Two study areas covering 299 ha in total were added at Pinjarra refinery for water storage and associated facilities.
The potential maximum clearing area at the refinery has increased from about 10 ha to up to 89 ha. The potential maximum clearing area for mining has been reduced by the corresponding amount, so from 6,700 ha to 6,621 ha. This is in addition to the approximate 200 ha per year cleared for the operation of the Kwinana Alumina Refinery.