- VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) has lodged an EPA referral for its Arrowsmith Central project.
- The EPA has a total of 28 days to discern whether to evaluate the referred proposal and, if so, what level of assessment to assign.
- VRX Silica is anticipating a PER level of assessment on the basis of the EPA’s decision on the Arrowsmith North project.
Shares of VRX Silica Limited (ASX:VRX) marked an uptick of about 4.7 per cent to AU$0.22 (as of 1:40 PM AEST) following a key update on the Arrowsmith Central Silica Sand project. The Company has recently announced that an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) referral has been lodged for its Arrowsmith Central project.
VRX Silica is developing high-grade, world-class silica sand projects in Western Australia. The Company’s high-grade silica sand projects include Arrowsmith Central, Arrowsmith North and Muchea Silica Sand Project.
Situated 270km north of Western Australia’s Perth, the Arrowsmith projects include five granted exploration licences and two granted mining leases. Moreover, the Muchea project is located 50km north of Perth and includes two granted and one under-application exploration licences besides one granted mining lease.
Details of EPA referral for Arrowsmith Central
VRX Silica has lodged a referral and supporting information document with the Western Australian EPA for its Arrowsmith Central project under Section 38 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.
The EPA’s Statement of Environmental Principles, Factors and Objectives offers a list of possible key environmental factors to consider for an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment), which comprise requiring assessment from initial baseline surveys, consultation processes and project planning. The referral identifies the appropriate baseline environmental information for the proposal activities, receiving environment, mitigation measures, impacts as well as underlying assumptions.
The EPA has a total of 28 days to discern whether to evaluate the referred proposal and, if so, what level of assessment to assign. This time frame begins once the EPA has received all necessary information and determined the referral to be valid.
The Company informed that the EPAs decision to evaluate the proposal will be published on the EPA’s website in due course. On the basis of the EPA’s decision on the Arrowsmith North project, VRX Silica is anticipating a PER level of assessment.
Status of Arrowsmith North’s environmental approval process
In March this year, the Company submitted its referral to the EPA for the high-grade Arrowsmith North project. The EPA informed the Company that it will evaluate the proposal under Section 39A(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 at a PER (Public Environmental Review) level of assessment.
VRX Silica recently notified that it has lodged an ESD (Environmental Scoping Document), which describes the environmental studies that are necessary to inform the assessment of the Arrowsmith North project.
The Cultural and Heritage Assessment and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimate studies have already been completed. Meanwhile, a High-Level Air Quality Assessment study is in progress, and these studies will be lodged with the EPA.
Based on continued consultation with the EPA and the Company’s environmental approval work to date, VRX Silica has identified what studies are likely to be required and, to the extent not already conducted, are ongoing as part of this Spring field season.
These studies are expected to provide relevant information for the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Arrowsmith Central project.