Central West Coal Project

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The Central West Coal Project is a proposed open cut coal mine intended to supply the proposed Coolimba Power Station in Western Australia. The proposed mine, which would involve the extraction of approximate 75 million tonnes of sub-bituminous grade coal, is located approximately 15 kilometres south of Eneabba in the Shires of Coorow and Carnamah, Western Australia. In February 2011 recommended that the Minister for Environment not approve the project.

Aviva Corporation is the mine proponent though since November 2009 it has not held the option to the rights to the coal deposit which are held by Sword Nominees Pty Ltd (Sword)[1]

History of the project

According to Aviva, the coal deposit was evaluated in 1982 by Renison Goldfields. The company undertook a "Conceptual Mining Study" on a 3.5 million tonne per annum mine and reviewed "the development of 2 x 300MW power station units at the mine site. The project, which was erfererred to as the Hill River Project, was formalised in 1989 with a proposal for a mine mouth power station. However, according to Aviva, "the proposal was scrapped in 1991 when CALM recommended the area be declared a class “A” national park."[2]

EPA recommends against the project

In early February 2011, the Western Australian Environmental Protection Agency announced that the proposed coal mine "cannot meet the EPA’s environmental objectives." In a media release the EPA Chairman Paul Vogel, stated "with the clearing of 861 hectares of native vegetation adjacent to the South Eneabba Nature Reserve there is a high risk of unacceptable impacts on critically endangered vegetation, Carnaby’s Cockatoo and the migratory Rainbow Bee-eater", "dewatering for the proposal is likely to have adverse impacts on the Lake Logue Nature Reserve."[3]

"The Lake Logue Nature Reserve is an important and recognised conservation asset supporting significant flora, fauna and wetland values. The South Eneabba Nature Reserve, the Lake Logue Nature Reserve and the conservation significant flora within this region are important environmental assets which should be protected. The EPA will take a conservative approach to the assessment of any proposals in this area, particularly cumulative impacts and risks posed by proposals to the long-term viability of conservation significant species," he stated.[3]

Appeal

The EPA announced that, following its decision, there was a two week public appeal period closing 21 February 2011.[3]

Aviva have announced that they will appeal the decision.In a media release the company stated that "the EPA Report referred to supporting advice provided to the EPA by government agencies, that Aviva had not previously been shown. After considering the EPA Report and now having reviewed the supporting advice, Aviva has confirmed that it intends to lodge an appeal to the Appeals Convenor."[1]

Environmental groups opposing the coal mine

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Aviva Corporation, "EPA Report on Central West Coal Project", Media Release, February 11, 2011.
  2. Aviva Corporation, "Data Review Completed - Central West Coal", Statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, May 25, 2004.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "EPA Report 1382 – Central West Coal Project", Media Release, February 7, 2011.

External resources

Aviva Corporation Announcements on the project

External articles