Environmental Impact Statement for the Bauxite Hills Project
Metro Mining's Bauxite Hills Mine is approximately 95 kilometres north of Weipa on Western Cape York, Queensland, and is set to become one of the largest independent operations in the region and a significant milestone for Metro.
Bauxite Hills will be a shallow open cut mining operation including haul roads and a barge loading facility and will produce and transport an initial rate of 2 million tonnes per annum of bauxite (Mtpa), ramping up to a steady state of 6Mtpa over the first four years, with an expected 17 year mine life.
CDM Smith was responsible for the overarching approvals process for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), providing key technical advice in particular on groundwater and surface water. From a broad network of specialist contacts, CDM Smith enlisted additional technical support in areas such as terrestrial freshwater and marine ecology, and economic impact assessment.
As per our usual standard, a detailed risk assessment was carried out to; ascertain the likely impacts as a result of the Project, propose mitigation measures to reduce the risk of impacts, determine the residual risk level for each risk, and to ensure offsets were provided for any risks of further concern to manage their impact.
The results of this assessment guided the planning, design and layout of the Project to ensure impacts to environmental values are minimised, the results of which are documented within the EIS. Key results and associated mitigation measures included; soils and land, land contamination, terrestrial and freshwater ecology, marine ecology, water quality, water resources, and transport.
CDM Smith has provided Metro Mining with the highest calibre technical advice to deliver an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable project to support and enhance regional advancement throughout the Project life.
Our high standard methodology in the EIS process as per the EP Act requirements includes:
- Preliminary planning investigations such as exploration of resource and initial mine planning, assessments of environmental values including flora and fauna, assessments of surface and subsurface water features, and investigations into locations of surrounding sensitive receptors;
- Community and government consultation advice and support;
- Initial advice statement and terms of reference; and
- EIS preparation and submission.
In addition, CDM Smith provided a value-added service of an Environmental Management Plan which is complementary to the EIS to enable a better understanding of the management strategies and approaches that will be adopted as part of the Project construction and operations.
CDM Smith was further commissioned to produce a Supplementary Report to the EIS to address any matters raised by respondents during the public consultation period of the EIS. Pending final approvals, construction of the mine is scheduled to commence in the dry season of 2017 (April to November).