NT EPA recommends approval of Grants Lithium Project
21 Jun 2019
The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has completed the environmental impact assessment of Core Lithium Limited’s Grants Lithium Project and concluded it can proceed in an environmentally acceptable manner by implementing recommendations made in the Assessment Report.
The Report is provided to the Northern Territory Minister for Environment and Natural Resources (the Minister) and to the Minister for Primary Industry and Resources (the Responsible Minister) for consideration to guide the development of conditions and approvals under the Mining Management Act 2001.
Core Lithium Limited proposes to develop and operate the Grants Lithium Project on mineral lease 31726 on the Cox Peninsula, approximately 36km by road west of Berry Springs and 25km south of Darwin.
The mine-site footprint encompasses 217 hectares of the 768 hectare mineral lease which is located on vacant crown land.
The proposal consists of an open cut lithium mine and ancillary infrastructure, with a proposed mine life of three to four years.
The ore would be mined and processed locally to produce lithium oxide concentrate for export.
Lithium raw materials are used for lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles and energy storages.
NT EPA acting chairperson, Ms Janice van Reyk, said the NT EPA identified potential significant impacts and risks associated with the project and made 17 recommendations to avoid and mitigate these.
“With a mine life of only 3 to 4 years, Core Lithium Limited must further evaluate all closure and rehabilitation options in developing and finalising its Mine Closure Plan prior to mining commencing, with particular attention on achieving rigorous mine closure objectives,” Ms van Reyk said.
“Where it cannot demonstrate it can achieve these objectives, the NT EPA has recommended that the proponent must backfill the mine pit.
“The proposed mine’s impact on surface and ground water is predicted to be minimal. Nevertheless, the NT EPA has recommended that any mine-affected water is captured and contained within the mine site until monitoring and treatment indicates that controlled discharges, if necessary, can occur without adverse impacts.
“While there is potential for significant environmental impacts to develop over the life of the project, the NT EPA considers that there are acceptable solutions to manage such impacts and uncertainties should they arise during or post-mining.”