The mining company, Kimberley Mineral Sands, made its final investment decision last week for a project Environs Kimberley considers “the most environmentally damaging in the West Kimberley’s history”. The company has chosen to go ahead, despite not yet knowing from which port it can export its product.
“It is unusual that the company has made a final investment decision despite not having received approval from the EPA to export through Broome,” said Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard.
“For years, KMS and its predecessor Sheffield Resources made a song and dance about exporting through the Port of Derby, and then at the final stages it applied to the EPA for approval to export through Broome. There has been no consultation with the Broome community, and the project has significant ramifications, including hundred-tonne road trains travelling down the Broome highway every 17 minutes, 24 hours a day,” Mr Pritchard said.
100 tonne quad roadtrains will be running up and down Gubinge Road every 17 minutes
Residents adjacent to the highway will have their lives disrupted by the noise as well as the diesel-particulate pollution.
“We are very concerned that there has yet to be a social impact assessment of the project, given its scale. The highly damaging proposal will clear over 1,700 hectares of the world’s most intact tropical savannah, which is prime habitat for the endangered Bilby. It will also pump vast volumes of groundwater out of the local aquifer, several times more than is used by the whole Broome population each year.
“Kimberley Mineral Sands is riding roughshod over the community by not consulting us about exporting through Broome.
“We are calling on the EPA to allow community consultation over the social and environmental impacts of exporting through Broome,” Mr Pritchard said.