Environmental impact and mitigation plan

Venture Minerals is committed to minimising the environmental footprint of the Company’s Riley Iron Ore mine.

While the small scale nature of the mine (pits 1.5-4 metres deep and a total 120ha disturbed and rehabilitated at the end of mine life) ensures the mine will have limited environmental impact, it is important to Venture that it has received and complies with all necessary environmental approvals to proceed with operations at the Riley Mine.

Venture Minerals values the surrounding environment and public health and safety by using safe and responsible mining practices.

Erosion and sediment loss

The proposed mining method of Riley Mine has been designed to minimise erosion and sediment loss. Venture commits to the following mitigation measures to control potential erosion and sediment loss arising from clearing, construction and mining:

  • No clearance or construction works will be undertaken during high rainfall conditions that may present an unacceptable risk of sediment loss to the environment.
  • During the construction phase Sweeney Creek will be diverted around the infrastructure site, and a sediment basin will be placed downstream of the site within Sweeney Creek channel.
  • Temporary slit fencing is being utilised to prevent any eroded material into Sweeny Creek.
  • Where practicable, mining of low topographic points within the upper catchment of Riley Creek will be undertaken during summer at times of no flow, thereby minimising potential for erosion, sediment loss and localised groundwater ingress.

Air emissions

Dust has the potential to cause an environmental nuisance if it is blown beyond the boundary of the proposed construction and operational activities. Therefore, Venture commits to the following mitigation measures to minimise the generation of dust and emissions during construction and operations:

  • Vegetation clearance will not be undertaken during hot, dry and windy periods.
  • The construction works will be planned and supervised by a qualified engineer so that the construction of each facility is undertaken in the most efficient and effective manner.
  • Existing native vegetation will be maintained for windbreaks where possible.
  • Haul roads, ore dumps, crusher and conveyor drop points, and earth stockpiles will be watered as necessary during hot, dry and windy conditions.
  • Exhaust emissions will be minimised by ensuring that all equipment is properly maintained, and only reputable contractors with well-maintained equipment will be used on-site.

Venture commits to comply with the following in relation to potential Air Emissions from the Riley Mine activities:

  • Tasmanian OHS requirements (Workplace Health and Safety Regulations 1998)
  • National Environment Protection Measure (Air) – PM10 and PM2.5 limits at the boundary of the premises
  • Tasmanian Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004
  • Tasmanian Quarry Code of Practice 1999
  • Tasmanian Environmental Management and Pollution Control 1994 environmental nuisance provisions
  • West Coast Council Planning Scheme

Groundwater

The Riley Mine Project does not require a conventional open pit and will not extend below the regional water table. Due to the shallow nature of the mining operations and the likely interception of groundwater near natural discharge points anyway, the mining operations are unlikely to have any material impact on the local water table or groundwater pathways, and no effect on the regional groundwater resource.

Venture has committed to the following mitigation strategies to protect surface water quality:

  • Where practicable, all mining and works at the low topographic points within the upper catchment areas of Riley and Gold Creek will be undertaken during summer at times of no flow, thereby minimising potential for localised groundwater ingress and potential for erosion and sediment loss to the creek systems
  • Groundwater intercept collected within mined out panels of areas will be pumped to a sediment basin prior to discharge
  • Groundwater monitoring, which commenced in May 2012, will continue during the operation of the mine at three monthly intervals.

Venture’s Groundwater mitigation strategy complies with the following:

    • State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997
    • Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994
    • Water Management Act 1999
    • Groundwater Act 1985

Decommissioning and rehabilitation

Venture Minerals has submitted a Decommissioning and Rehabilitation Plan (DRP) to the Tasmanian Government. The DRP forms the basis for all management plans, including rehabilitation, infrastructure removal, weeds, vegetation and surface and groundwater. Venture’s management plan has clear commitments, which will be reported annually to the EPA.

Key Points:

The key objectives of the decommissioning and rehabilitation plan are to:

  • Protect the environment and public health and safety by using safe and responsible closure practices
  • Reduce or eliminate environmental effects once the mine ceases operations
  • Establish conditions which are consistent with the pre-determined end land use objectives
  • Reduce the need for long-term monitoring and maintenance by establishing effective physical stability of disturbed areas; and
  • Comply with State legislative and policy requirements and public expectations.

Venture will finalise rehabilitation of the mine in consultation with Forestry Tasmania. It is expected to take the form of native forest regeneration, with the establishment of communities similar to those that currently exist.

The Riley mine has a proposed life of two years and is relatively simple in terms of operational stages and components. There will be very little alteration to the landform through the mining of the surficial resource.