BHP Announces $2.2b expansion: Do we need to mine the BIF?

Today BHP announced a further 2.2 billion expansion of their iron ore operations in the pilbara. The expansion in their operations will dwarf the small scale banded ironstone mines in the midwest and goldfields that threaten rare plants and animals, and WA’s outback landscapes. BHP is increasing production to 240mtpa. The total production of ore from the proposed A-Class reserve at Mungada Ridge where mining has recently been approved against the advice of the EPA, will be less than 2mtpa.
The expansion of BHP’s operations in the Pilbara already has plenty of environmental and cultural problems, such as a current court case from Traditional Owners, but the point is that there is no need to expand the damaging impacts of iron ore mining into new high conservation areas in other parts of the state.
There is a case for some iron ore mining in the midwest, but not in high conservation value ranges that have been identified by environmental authorities as worthy of protection in A-Class nature reserves. There are many BIF ranges in the region from which these small quantities of ore could be mined without destroying WA’s unique biodiversity.
You can send an email to the WA premier about BIF mining via the “Save BIF” tab at the top of this blog page

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