Australia: Burke OKs Anketell Point Port Project
Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, today approved the Anketell Point Iron Ore Processing and Export Port project in Western Australia, subject to 45 strict conditions.
Mr Burke said with these conditions in place, he is satisfied that the project can go ahead without unacceptable impacts on matters protected under national environmental law.
“My decision comes after a rigorous environmental assessment, and the key measures imposed to mitigate against environmental impacts include six management plans, an ecosystem monitoring program and an environment protection code of conduct for employees during construction of the port,” Mr Burke said.
“Of particular importance is a dredge environmental management plan, which will put in place a dredge monitoring program with water quality triggers and appropriate corrective actions.
“This plan will be developed, implemented and reviewed by a dredging technical advice group, made up of at least two independent scientific experts with relevant expertise and an independent dredging technical advisor.”
An additional five management plans will provide a comprehensive response to the full range of potential environmental risks and include:
– a marine fauna management plan;
– an environmental protection plan;
– a migratory birds offsets management plan;
– a blasting management plan (if required);
– a decommissioning management plan.
“Under the ecosystem monitoring program, API Management Pty Ltd must research and monitor the Anketell Point region’s marine environment and develop measures to monitor and manage or improve the regional marine environment,” Mr Burke said.
“In addition, the migratory birds offsets management plan requires API to identify and actively manage at least 275 hectares of migratory bird roosting and foraging habitat.
“Finally, API must commit to funding and implementing activities for the life of the project to further the conservation outcomes on Dixon Island sought by the Western Australian Government approval.
“My decision also recognises the significant economic benefits to the local community, with the project having the capacity to create approximately 4,000 new jobs during construction and an operational workforce of approximately 900 personnel.”
The development of Anketell Point Port will allow the processing and export of iron ore from API’s previously approved West Pilbara Iron Ore Project, with a capacity of 115 million tonnes per annum
The project approval will see API construct a 15 kilometre shipping channel, a three kilometre approach jetty causeway, a 1.1 kilometre jetty and associated shore based infrastructure – including stockyards, a desalination plant, conveyors, accommodation camps, power plant and road and rail links.
Press Release, May 16, 2013