OK from environment watchdog for Ammaroo phosphate mine


2591 Verdant Mineral 1The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says it has concluded the Verdant Mineral Limited’s Ammaroo phosphate project is environmentally acceptable but has made 12 recommendations to avoid and mitigate “potentially significant environmental impacts and risks”.
Chairman Paul Vogel says the recommendations include “regular audits and peer reviews of critical aspects of the project by independent experts and public transparency of the mine’s water management”.
The proposal for the project 270 km north-east of Alice Springs includes:–
• A phosphate mine, processing plant and surface tailings storage facility.
• An infrastructure corridor with a 105 km rail spur (connecting to the Adelaide to Darwin railway line) and a 137 km underground gas pipeline (connecting to the Amadeus gas pipeline).
• A borefield and 12 km pipeline for water supply, supporting infrastructure and the realignment of about 12 km of the Murray Downs Road to bypass the mine site.
The expected mine life is 25 years with an additional two years for closure and rehabilitation, says Dr Vogel.
The mine’s construction workforce will be up to 300 with an operations workforce of up to 150.
Processing will occur on-site and the phosphate rock concentrate will be transported by rail to the Port of Darwin for export.
Water will be sourced from the Georgina Basin carbonate aquifer.
“The EPA identified the proposed groundwater abstraction of 3.6 gigalitres per year as substantial, and paid particular attention to potential impacts on groundwater resources and associated environmental values in the arid zone of the NT where the proposal is located,” says Dr Vogel.
“The EPA’s key recommendations focus on ensuring leading practice in the management of groundwater resources, rehabilitation and closure, and community engagement [as well as] full transparency in relation to the mine’s groundwater abstraction through stakeholder consultations and public disclosure of all water management plans and annual reports.”
The EPA has provided its assessment report to the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler, for consideration.
Meanwhile Ms Lawler has released  the Water Regulatory Reform Directions Paper seeking comment on the Water Controller’s role, allocation planning , future supply, management of unused water and pricing.
IMAGE from Verdant Mineral Limited.


  1. Only when the Great Artesian Basin is depleted and life cannot exist here any more will these greedy fools realise that you cannot eat or drink money.

  2. In reply to Dr Who. What has this mine got to do with the Artesian Basin? It is not even close to the basin and would not be drawing water from it.

  3. John Hagan: I was led to believe this was on the edge of the GA Basin. Even if it’s not it’s an obscene amount of water to take every year. It takes 100s or thousands of years for that resource to be replenished.


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