Australasian Resources (ASX: ARH) has successfully navigated its way through Western Australia’s environmental approvals passage towards the possible $2.7 billion development of its Balmoral South iron ore project in the Pilbara region.
Following extensive environmental surveys and investigations as part of a lengthy public and government environmental review process, the state’s Environmental Protection Authority recommended that the Minister for Environment allow the proposed Balmoral South project to proceed.
Andrew Caruso managing director of Australasian said although the environmental nod was open to appeal, that is considered unlikely given the extensive consultation with stakeholders that went into the environmental assessment.
The Perth-based iron ore junior is proposing to develop an open cut mine, processing plant and associated infrastructure targeted to produce 24 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of magnetite, with up to 14 Mtpa of pellets for export. To that end it hopes to have construction permits and licences in place in 2010.
Under existing agreements the company has access to Citic Pacific Mining’s port facilities, which are currently under construction. Balmoral South lies about 80 km south west of Karratha and 30 km from the Citic port facilities at Cape Preston that form part of its Sino Iron project near Balmoral South.