Iluka Resources proposal to store radioactive material to be considered

Douglas mine.
Douglas mine.

HORSHAM Rural City and West Wimmera councils will learn more about Iluka Resources’ proposal to continue storing radioactive material at its former Douglas mine site on Monday.

Representatives from both councils and Southern Grampians Shire will meet with government departments in Horsham to discuss the approvals process.

Iluka Resources wants its Douglas site, south-west of Horsham, designated a Special Use Zone to allow for the disposal of by-products.

The mineral sands company flagged its intention to seek an amendment to the Horsham Planning Scheme in June.

It will also seek works approval from the Environmental Protection Authority and a licence to operate a landfill at the site.

Horsham chief executive Peter Brown said Monday’s meeting would be a good opportunity for councils to learn more about the process.

“It’s early days yet,” he said.

“The departments we are meeting with are all involved in the regulation and oversight of mining projects.

“The meeting is about the processes that would have to be worked through if the project was to go ahead.”

Since mining at the Douglas site stopped in 2012, Iluka Resources has been processing heavy minerals concentrate from its Ouyen-region mines at its Hamilton mine separation plant.

Iluka wants to continue processing minerals from its South Australian mines at Hamilton and dispose of the by-products at Douglas. 

This is not covered by its current work plan. Kanagulk Landcare Group has raised its concerns about Iluka Resources’ latest proposal at separate meetings with Horsham and West Wimmera councils. 

The group lobbied the State Government in 2012 to force Iluka to address its fear about radioactive material being stored at the site.

Group member Albert Miller said the Wimmera councils were receptive to the group’s concerns.

“They seemed quite interested in what we had to say,” he said.

Mr Miller said Kanagulk Landcare Group believed Iluka Resources needed to be more transparent.

“There are a lot of things we feel need to be reviewed,” he said.

“The question is, can we trust them?”

Mr Brown said community consultation would be paramount if Iluka was to proceed with its proposal. 

“Regardless of the process, there will be a strong emphasis on public consultation,” he said.


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