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Council approves road closures paving way for expansion of Super Pit gold mine

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Council approves road closures paving way for expansion of Super Pit gold mine

Metropolis of Kalgoorlie-Boulder councillors have voted unanimously to approve highway closures, paving the best way for a decade-long enlargement of considered one of Australia’s largest gold mines, the Tremendous Pit.

The enlargement, often known as the Fimiston South challenge, will widen and deepen the open pit and prolong its life till at the very least 2034. 

It can contain the relocation of the Tremendous Pit Lookout vacationer attraction and building of a brand new noise bund to restrict the impression of 24-hour mining operations.

KCGM Operations’ proprietor and father or mother firm Perth-based Northern Star Sources has been engaged on the Fimiston South enlargement for about three years since announcing the results of a strategic review in August 2020.  

A map outlining proposed road closures near an open cut mine to make way for its expansion.
The proposed highway closures within the South Boulder gentle industrial space.   (Equipped: Metropolis of Kalgoorlie-Boulder/Northern Star Sources )

Metropolis of Kalgoorlie-Boulder councillors voted 10-0 at an odd council assembly final night time to approve the everlasting partial highway closure of 11 streets within the South Boulder gentle industrial space.

Councillor Amy Astill, a geology technician at Northern Star Sources, and councillor Deborah Botica recused themselves from the vote after declaring conflicts of curiosity.

The closures embrace Outram, Dwyer, Hopkins, Vivian Oroya, Chaffers, Leviathan, Pirie, Hesperus, Bendigo, and Waverley streets.     

The subsequent step is for the town to formally request the Minister for Lands John Carey to shut the roads. 

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler mentioned if the roads weren’t closed they might live on throughout the operational boundaries of the mine.

“If the counsellors had voted ‘no’ it would not alter the mining, it will simply imply that these formal roads would exist below a giant pile of rock,” he mentioned.

Mr Bowler mentioned the choice was a “no brainer” with the Tremendous Pit rating as the town’s largest employer with greater than 1,300 contractors and workers.    

18 submissions opposed closures

Town beforehand supported the highway closures at its November 21 odd council assembly, topic to a spread of situations, together with a public remark interval.

The council marketed for 45 days as much as January 30 and acquired 64 responses.

In line with the council, 46 submissions had been supportive of the highway closures and 18 had been opposed. 

Of these opposed the council mentioned there have been considerations about mud, some requested further remedy to the proposed 15-metre-high noise bund, and others wanting compensation for affected homeowners. 

A map illustrating a proposed expansion of an open cut gold mine.
A map of the proposed Fimiston South enlargement on the Kalgoorlie Tremendous Pit.(Equipped: Northern Star Sources)

Mr Bowler mentioned lots of the points raised within the opposing submissions, like rising mud and noise,  could be addressed by the development of the brand new bund.

“The complete thought of the bund is to chop down on noise and mud from the operations within the Tremendous Pit, no bund and so they’re extra uncovered to noise and mud,” he mentioned. 

“The bund is there to guard residents from what they had been complaining about.”

Different submissions raised considerations in regards to the decommissioning of the Tremendous Pit Lookout as a vacationer attraction, however Mr Bowler mentioned he had been assured by operators of the mine a brand new lookout could be constructed. 

“KCGM have advised me on a couple of event that the brand new one shall be greater and higher than they’ve ever had,” he mentioned.   

Heavy machinery, including a truck and shovel, inside a gold mine.
A shovel loading a haul truck contained in the Tremendous Pit gold mine close to Kalgoorlie.(ABC Goldfields: Jarrod Lucas)

In line with the Environmental Safety Authority, the Fimiston South proposal consists of the extra clearing of as much as 1,868 hectares, of which 1,580ha is native vegetation.

The enlargement will enhance the event envelope from the at present authorized 5,914ha to 7,795ha.

There have been two submissions calling for a public environmental overview through the EPA’s evaluation course of final yr, however it was lowered to a four-week public overview. 

A truck driving up the ramp in the Super Pit gold mine.
Vans have proper of method with different site visitors within the Tremendous Pit gold mine.(ABC Information: Jarrod Lucas)

Northern Star Sources mentioned through the first 12 months, when mining at Fimiston South is near the floor, there shall be situations the place open pit blasting will briefly shut a small part of the Goldfields Freeway. 

Tremendous Pit operator KCGM has been contacted for remark.

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