VRX Silica Limited (ASX: VRX) has announced that its Arrowsmith Central silica sand project, 270km north of Perth, has moved to the next stage of the environmental approval process with the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia.
Consistent with the EPA’s approach at VRX’s Arrowsmith North project and the company’s expectations for Arrowsmith Central, the EPA will assess the proposal at a Public Environmental Review (PER) level of assessment as required under section 40(2)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. The PER period is four weeks.
The Company is preparing an Environmental Scoping Document (ESD), which details the environmental studies that are required to inform the assessment of the project.
Preparation of the ESD is a fundamental step in the EPA administration procedures to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment of Arrowsmith Central.
VRX is confident the project has addressed the Environmental Principles, Factors and Objectives of the guidelines for assessment. Other government agencies will be restricted from approving any approvals related to the full development of the project until the EPA process is complete (noting exploration and investigations are not restricted). This does not impact upon the Company’s current development plans.
The EPA’s decision will allow the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment to also set its level of assessment at PER to align with the EPA decision.
“This is yet another significant step in the development of our second silica sand project at Arrowsmith Central and we will progress the application as expeditiously as possible,” managing director Bruce Maluish said:
“While we are not in a position at this stage to set a definitive timeline for the approval process, we are confident that our work-to-date with the EPA on seeking approval for the company’s nearby and broadly similar Arrowsmith North silica sand project will greatly assist in this application.”