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Media Release: Open for Comment - Draft Terms of Reference for the Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. GEMCO Eastern Leases Project

29 Aug 2014

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has released the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for the Groote Eylandt Mining Company Pty Ltd GEMCO Eastern Leases Project for public review.

GEMCO proposes to develop and operate the GEMCO Eastern Leases Project, approximately 2km east of the existing GEMCO Mine at Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory.  Approximately 38Mt of manganese ore would be mined using open cut, strip mining methods from Exploration Licences in Retention 28161 and 28162.

GEMCO proposes to transport the mined ore from the Project via a new haul to the existing concentrator, and related facilities at the GEMCO Mine for ore processing and product export.  The NT EPA determined that this project requires assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) at the level of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The NT EPA decision was based on risks of potential impacts to biodiversity, surface and groundwater and related ecological processes, air quality, and social and economic impacts.

Groote Eylandt is largely free of invasive weeds and feral animals that are present on the Northern Territory mainland. The GEMCO Eastern Leases Project is of a size and scale to potentially expose ecologically intact areas, and habitats of national significance, to threatening processes, such as the introduction of gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus; Weed of National Significance).

The draft ToR define the required scope of environmental matters to be dealt with in the EIS.

The draft ToR are available for public comment for 14 calendar days commencing on Saturday 30 August 2014.  Written comments on the draft ToR are to be submitted on or before COB Friday 12 September 2014.
To obtain a copy of the draft ToR and to make a submission visit www.nt.gov.au/envirocomment.

Media contact – Lesley Major   0419 288 284