After a scoping meeting earlier this month with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) at which the project was presented, the company submitted a formal scoping report for assessment.
First steps taken
These were the first steps in the process towards SSD approval, which provides an integrated assessment pathway and minimises the number of secondary environmental approvals that must be attained for a project.
COB will now proceed with an application under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act (1979) including preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) during 2020 and 2021.
The BHCP qualifies as an SSD due to project purpose and capital requirements, as the capital value exceeds $30 million.
COB’s Technical Team had a scoping meeting with DPIE assessment officers on January 6.
This followed extensive consultation with government, community and infrastructure stakeholders in respect of various environmental, socio-economic and infrastructure/logistical studies.
The subsequent scoping report, which was lodged on January 21, provides a comprehensive overview of the nature, scale and planning issues associated with the BHCP.
This report facilitates the preparation of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) which form the basis of the EIS.
Flowchart with the major steps in the SSD application process with indicative timeframes, along with their current completion status.
COB will commission the relevant technical studies to support the EIS in 2020.
Major aspects for investigation in the EIS include sustainable management of mine and process wastes, rehabilitation and open-cut voids, ground and surface water, biodiversity, air quality and socio-economic issues.
Work on many of these aspects is already underway.
The company expects that the EIS will be lodged with DPIE for exhibition and assessment during the second half of 2021, however, this will be influenced by technical and optimisation studies undertaken during a feasibility study.
The BHCP development timeline.