Gruyere project - Permitting and environmental

The project proposal underwent formal environmental assessment by the Office of Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA) under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).

The Assessment on Proponent Information, Category A (API-A) that was required for the project was prepared. The management and protection of stygofauna (aquatic fauna that live in groundwater systems or aquifers) that have been identified in the Yeo bore field area of the project was the key environmental factor identified by OEPA that required formal impact assessment. Final project EPA Part IV approval was received on 29 December 2016. No commonwealth Environmental Assessment was required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act).

The approvals strategy adopted is to separate the project into two distinct components: (1) the mining, process plant and associated infrastructure (inclusive of bore fields and access roads); and (2) the gas supply. The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is the lead agency for mining approvals and is the agency responsible for administering the Mining Act 1978 (Western Australia).

A Project Management Plan, Mining Proposal and Mine Closure Plan detailing information on identification, evaluation and management of environmental impacts relevant to the project and the surrounding environment was submitted to DMP and approval granted in February 2017. In parallel with these proposals, the project also received various works approvals and licences for construction and operations of prescribed premises under Part V of the EP Act. These approvals, from the Department of Environment Regulation (DER), were also received in February 2017.

Opportunities for sustainability are being investigated on the back of the Gruyere Central Bore Native Title Agreement (GCBNTA) which was signed with the Yilka and Cosmo Newberry Aboriginal Community (CNAC) on 3 May 2016. As registered custodians of the Yamarna area, the Yilka People will realise employment, contracting and training opportunities throughout the life of the project.