The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended a second potash proposal for environmental approval, with the completion of its environmental impact assessment on the Lake Disappointment Potash Project, in Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert region.
EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said the proposal, located 320 kilometres east of Newman, would produce 400,000 tonnes of sulfate of potash a year from Lake Disappointment for domestic and international markets and was assessed on its unique location and environmental impact.
“In recent years, a number of sulfate of potash proposals have been referred to the EPA for assessment and while there are similarities across the projects, each proposal will be considered and assessed on its merits and unique environmental impacts,” Dr Hatton said.
Potash is a key ingredient for high-grade fertilisers, which is important for agriculture and food production, and is made from hypersaline brine, extracted from groundwater.
“During our consideration of Reward Minerals’ Lake Disappointment proposal, the EPA carefully looked at environmental impacts, particularly on the night parrot, given its conservation status, and breeding water birds, given the importance of Lake Disappointment as a breeding site,” Dr Hatton said.
“As a precautionary measure the EPA has recommended management plans to avoid and minimise any impacts to native animals and vegetation.”
In April, the EPA recommended Western Australia’s first potash proposal, Kalium Lakes’ Beyondie Sulfate of Potash Proposal, for approval and currently has two other sulfate of potash proposals under assessment; the Lake Wells Potash Project, and the Mackay Sulfate of Potash Project. The Lake Way Sulfate of Potash proposal has also been referred to the EPA for assessment, but a determination on whether to assess it has not yet been made.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 23 December 2019. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au
The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.
EPA Report 1658 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au
EPA Media Contact: Vivienne Ryan on 0400 866 450