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PER Guidelines

Quest 29 Gold

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is to include a brief outline of each section within the PER using text and dot points. It is recommended that the Executive Summary is written as a stand-alone document, able to be reproduced on request by interested parties who may not wish to read or purchase the PER as a whole.

The summary should be a concise outline of the matters discussed in the main body of the document, to allow the reader to quickly obtain a clear understanding of the proposal, its environmental implications and management objectives. The summary should include:

  • the title of the proposal
  • name and address of the proponent;
  • a brief description of the background to the proposal;
  • a statement of the objectives of the proposal;
  • a brief description of the proposal;
  • a brief description of the existing environment;
  • a brief summary of the principal environmental impacts; and
  • a statement of the proposed environmental management principles and monitoring procedures.

1. Introduction

  • Name and address of the proponent, including contact officers.
  • Objectives of the proposal
  • Location and outline of the proposal.
  • History of the proposal.
  • Land use and tenement status for the project area.
  • Summary of key environmental issues associated with the project.
  • Summarise scope, purpose and structure of the PER.

2. Description of the Proposed Development

This section should describe the project in sufficient detail to allow an understanding of all stages of the proposal, and assist in determining potential environmental impacts. For clarity, the proposal should be discussed under the following headings which reflect the specific nature of this operation. Where appropriate indicate any potential alternatives:

  • Location, site description and planning considerations.
  • Site design layout and options.
  • Existing infrastructure and infrastructure requirements.
  • Timetable for operations, including development of associated infrastructure, land clearing, construction, extraction operations, haulage, processing and rehabilitation.

Construction Operations

  • Construction program, workforce and accommodation.
  • Construction requirements including materials, sources, transportation, storage and uses.
  • Construction standards, site management and supervision.
  • Extent and methods of land clearing, site preparatory works and earthmoving.
  • Arrangements for prevention of soil erosion and rehabilitation.
  • Construction wastes and disposal methods.

Mining Development and Operations

A description of the local geology and pit(s) mineralisation

  • Outline the proposed design and dimensions of pit(s). Indicate location on suitable site map(s), plan(s) and geological cross-sections.
  • Describe mining methods, quantity, scale of operations and extraction schedule(s).
  • Detail drilling and blasting requirements (including frequency).
  • Indicate extent of area to be cleared of vegetation and erosion control measures.
  • Describe borrow material requirements, identify availability and suitability.
  • Outline the scope for any possible future extension of the project.

Treatment Process and Products

  • Describe source of ore, average grades of ore, and quantities of ore to be mined.
  • Characterise the ore (including sampling methodology, mineralogy, neutralising capacity, and net acid production potential).
  • Describe plant infrastructure and processes/processing that may be required at the Quest 29 site for heap leaching. Identify existing CIL and tailings facilities at Toms Gully.
  • Identify all inputs and outputs (products) of the heap leach processing operation at Quest 29 and CIL operations at Toms Gully.

Waste Rock Dumps and Stockpiles

  • Describe volumes, dimensions and shape of dumps or stockpiles.
  • Indicate proposed locations, discuss alternatives and reasons for choices. Describe water catchments, contingency acid rock drainage interception arrangements, surface water treatment and final landform of dumps and stockpiles.
  • Characterise the waste rock (including sampling methodology, mineralogy, base metal content, acid neutralising capacity, net acid generation (NAG), net acid production potential (NAPP).
  • Identify possible chemical constituents/contaminants in drainage.
  • Describe in detail the methods for waste rock disposal and dump construction, including selection methodology and on-going characterisation of different waste rock types for disposal, selective handling of different waste types, and cross sections or the design of the waste rock dumps.

Tailings

  • Describe the existing tailings dams at Toms Gully and their capacity to contain the amount of tailings to be deposited.
  • Describe the means of disposal and control of any potential acid mine drainage.
  • Describe the physical and chemical characteristics of the tailings and supernatant waters.

Water Management

  • Outline water requirements at Quest 29, including on-site potable water, process water and water for dust suppression, and indicate proposed sources and methods of supply.
  • Identify on-site catchments and drainage patterns.
  • Describe requirements and techniques for pit de-watering and waste rock water catchment strategies, including expected quality and quantities before and after decommissioning and outline strategies for dealing with flood or storm drainage.
  • Identify any off-site discharge.
  • Prepare a water balance for the Quest 29 site.

Infrastructure

  • Outline administration, staff amenity and workshop buildings.
  • Describe explosive storage and transport.
  • Describe hazardous substances (types, storage, use, transport and disposal).
  • Describe fuel, oil and lubricants (types, storage, transport and disposal).
  • Describe alternatives for power supply, infrastructure, servicing easements and indicate preferred options.
  • Describe sewerage and refuse disposal requirements.
  • Describe communication and security arrangements.

Transport Corridors

  • Indicate any requirements for construction of new haul road and upgrading of existing road services including the effect of project operations on existing public roads. Include the design of stream crossings and erosion control measures. Outline on maps.

Workforce

  • Provide estimates of number required during construction, operation, and rehabilitation.
  • Outline health, safety and emergency procedures.
  • Outline programmes to educate employees in relation to their environmental, heritage and sacred site protection obligations.
  • Describe accommodation, amenity, office and transportation requirements for staff.

3. Description of the Existing Environment

This section should describe those elements of the existing environment at Quest 29 and for the haul road, that have the potential to be affected by this proposal. Many environmental issues have already been addressed for open pit mining and processing at Toms Gully through a Preliminary Environmental Report (1988) assessed under the Environmental Assessment Act.

Biophysical Environment

  • Climate including summary data of rainfall, evaporation rates, wind and temperatures (monthly averages).
  • Description of topography, geology and soils at the Quest 29 and haul road sites (including contour maps). Information should include land unit characteristics.

Hydrology

  • Describe surface water hydrology and local catchment areas.
  • Outline surface water quality and sediment load characteristics.
  • Describe and characterise local and regional groundwater occurrences, quality, interaction with surface processes,.
  • Identify local uses of surface and ground waters.

Flora and Fauna

  • Describe flora and fauna communities for immediate area and surrounds (including communities downstream of the site which may be impacted by variations in water quality and siltation); include maps and an outline of methodology used to gather information, survey and sampling techniques.
  • Identify any unique, rare, endangered or vulnerable native species or communities in the vicinity of project pit(s), access roads and infrastructures in relation to overall status, distribution and condition.
  • Describe feral animal and weed species population.
  • Provide baseline data on mosquito and other biting insect habitats and populations (nature of breeding site(s) and species eg. exotic and endemic) and potential for disease transmission. (refer to results from previous Toms Gully and Rustler’s Roost studies)

Noise and Dust

  • Evaluate normal ambient noise and dust levels adjacent to the proposed mine areas.

Fire

  • Describe the fire regime in the region.

Socio-economic Environment

  • Describe current land tenure and land use in and adjacent to the project area(s) including Aboriginal and pastoral land use; indicate any past land degradation or alteration that may have occurred.
  • Describe any other physical infrastructure (ie. roads) or local communities that could be affected by construction and operation activities.
  • Provide results from a survey to determine sites of heritage significance within the development area(s) and access road(s) pursuant to the Heritage Conservation Act:
    • include details of survey methodology and sampling technique
    • include site descriptions, diagrams and maps.
    • include an assessment of significance in a regional context.
  • Provide evidence of an Authority Certificate under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act or the results of an inspection of the Register of Sacred Sites maintained by the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority.

4. Environmental Impacts and Proposed Safeguards

This section should describe actual and potential environmental impacts of the project, along with the environmental management practices or safeguards proposed to avoid, minimise or ameliorate impacts for all stages of the project at the Quest 29 site.

Management practices or safeguards should be expressed as a series of commitments. These commitments and any associated discussion of impacts should be arranged in appropriate sections and subsections. Each commitment should be numbered consecutively and highlighted to stand out from the surrounding text. These commitments will form the basis for the site environmental management plan.

4.1 Company Environmental Management

This section should present the company’s environmental policy and identify responsibilities of personnel within the company for environmental management, monitoring, reporting and review.

4.2 Impacts and Safeguards

Impacts may be direct, indirect, short or long term, temporary or irreversible. They may occur during all stages of the project, including construction, operation, decommissioning and rehabilitation. All potential impacts should be identified and characterised in this manner. Information on the risk, scale and significance of each impact should also be included. Measures proposed to mitigate the adverse impacts associated with the proposal and, where appropriate, alternative should be included.

A description of environmental impacts and safeguards should address, but not be limited to, the following:

(The level of detail presented in this section should reflect the degree of significance of potential impacts.)

  • Soil erosion, landform and land clearing.
  • Impact of any changes in surface water quality and quantity, both at the mine site and downstream
  • Impact on ground water quality and quantity and the impact of any changes that may occur at the mine site and off-site, including effects on beneficial users.
  • Impact on flora and fauna through:
    • loss of habitat.
    • earthworks, erosion.
    • alteration to drainage and groundwater regimes.
    • creation or exacerbation of weed and feral animal population (including biting insects).
    • changes in frequency of bush fire regime during operation and post mining.
  • Impacts on heritage, archaeological sites and sacred sites.
  • Impact on any local communities and adjacent land use (including other mining, pastoral land use, Aboriginal communities, transport corridors, recreation and tourism).
  • Impact on human health through:
    • potable water and food sources.
    • mosquitoes and other biting insects.
    • sewage and refuse disposal.
    • air quality (dust and atmospheric emissions).
    • noise levels (blasting and extraction operations).
  • Visual aesthetics.

4.3 Site Rehabilitation

In describing environmental management practices and safeguards, particular attention should be given to site rehabilitation. The following matters should be addressed:

  • Objectives of site rehabilitation and expected future land use. Discuss the possible final landforms. A time scale for decommissioning and rehabilitation should be outlined.
  • Describe progressive and/or final rehabilitation plan, including maintenance of water quality.
  • Design of all rehabilitated landforms to minimise erosion and acid drainage.
  • Natural and constructed drainage system design to ensure runoff discharge does not erode or add to downstream siltation.
  • Covering of waste rock dumps including details of quality and quantity of cover material.
  • Topsoil management/use.
  • Actions to prevent the development of mosquito and other biting insect breeding habitats.
  • Establishment of vegetation, including selection of plant species, seeding, fertiliser use (if needed) and rehabilitation trials.
  • Continued water monitoring and discharge requirements following decommissioning.
  • Contingency plans.

4.4 Summary Table

Provide a summary table listing in point form those environmental impacts identified for the projects and the corresponding management commitments to deal with them. Responsibilities for monitoring and response mechanisms should be outlined.

5. Environmental Monitoring

Environmental monitoring should be compatible with baseline studies, however they should be identified separately.

Environmental monitoring should be directed to and address each key environmental issue and management activity and include the following objectives:

(a) Detect long and short term trends.

(b) Recognise environmental changes and enable analysis of their causes.

(c) Measure impacts of activities.

It is required that details of proposed monitoring programs and objectives under the following headings be provided:

  • Monitoring objectives.
  • Program of sampling (eg. include water, waste rock, revegetation).
  • Location and description of proposed sampling sites (include map).
  • Sampling and reporting frequency and methodologies, including proposed detection limits.
  • A table providing details of the any baseline studies and monitoring programs is recommended.
  • Review of monitoring programs and objectives.

6. References and Appendices

Include a list of references where referred to in the text. Appendices should include reports of all studies undertaken for preparation of the report or other information sources.

(7. Administrative Requirements)

Once the PER is ready for comment, ?? copies should be submitted to the Department of Mines & Energy for distribution to NT Government advisory bodies.

Arrangements for the public display and review, including locations and number of copies will be made at the time when the preliminary copy of the draft PER is reviewed. It is the responsibility of the proponent to advertise the public availability of the PER for public comment.

Please arrange lodgement of a computer disc copy of the PER with the Department of Lands, Planning and Environment.

The Department of Lands, Planning and Environment action officer for this project is Mr Helge Pedersen, Phone (08) 8924 4138, Fax (08) 8924 4053.

The Department of Mines and Energy action officer for this project is Mr Steve Tatzenko

, Phone (08) 89995372, Fax (08) 899951