|Super Pit mine expansion approved|
AN expansion of the Super Pit gold mine in Kalgoorlie has won government approval but it must meet new and stringent environmental conditions.
The approval from WA's acting Environment Minister, John Day, will allow the mine to be deepened to 600 metres.
It will also allow operator Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines to establish additional waste dumps with a capacity of 140 million tonnes of waste rock, and the expansion of tailings storage facilities.
``These conditions require KCGM to address noise, air quality, waste disposal and vibration issues, as well as heritage and cultural values,'' Mr Day said.
He said the new conditions strengthened those proposed by the previous government and must be met before the expansion could begin.
``While this expansion is expected to provide significant benefits for the Western Australian economy, such as securing jobs for more than 1,000 people, these new conditions ensure this will not be at the expense of the environment and local community,'' Mr Day said.
An independent auditor will check on compliance with the new conditions for an initial period of 18 months.
The auditor will be funded by KCGM, which is an equal joint venture between Newmont Mining Corporation and Barrick Gold Corporation, the second and first largest gold miners in the world, respectively.
The Super Pit is immediately next to the Kalgoorlie township and residents have expressed concern that the expansion will bring the mine too close to homes, with noise and vibration affecting residences.