Scott Coastal Plain under threat from mining
The Scott Coastal Plain from Augusta in the west to Donnelly River in the east including Lake Jasper
Yoondadadup – Lake Jasper
This region is under threat from mining.
There is need for immediate action by the state government given the potential number and cumulative size of potential mines through the region. The potential land-use conflicts and the long-term sustainability of the Scott Coastal Plain need to be strategically assessed and its unique conservation areas need to be protected from the direct and indirect impacts from mining.
The increasing demands on the Scott Coastal Plain from potential mineral sands mining operations could lead to another BHP Beenup mineral sands mine closure debacle. Two former large mineral sands mines on the Scott Coastal Plain, Beenup and Jangardup, are now subject to on-going monitoring due to sulphuric acid groundwater plumes in the shallow aquifer, the result of mining operations, migrating off-site towards agricultural and conservation areas.
Yoondadadup – Lake Jasper
The Ecological Values and threats to the Scott Coastal Plain.
The coastal region between Augusta and the Donnelly River is under increasing pressure for more intensive land use and development, which includes mining. The D’Entrecasteaux Coalition recognises the need for sustainable development and protection of our existing conservation estate. Given the increasing number of proposed mineral sand mines and potential impacts such as loss of biodiversity, sulphuric acid pollution of the local groundwater, loss of recreational values, degrading of the conservation estate, increasing subsidies to the mining industry and damage to indigenous cultural values, a strategic social, environmental and economic assessment of the Scott Coastal Plain is needed with special reference to the presence of Acid Sulphate Soils. Disturbance of acid sulphate soils at the two former large mineral sands mines on the Scott Coastal Plain, BHP’s Beenup and Cable Sand’s Jangardup has led to major groundwater contamination with sulphuric acid.
Yoondadadup – Lake Jasper
Parks and Reserves on the Scott Coastal Plain.
The South West is home to some of our most important national parks and nature reserves including; Gingilup Nature reserve, D’Entrecasteaux National Park, Pagett Nature Reserve, Scott National Park and Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park to name a few. There is also the Scott River Ironstone Association, endorsed as an Endangered Threatened Ecological community (TEC). There are major coastal wetlands, dune system and ecotones reserved in the south west of the state. There are serious threats to the flora and fauna of the conservation estate along the south coast given that some irresponsible mining companies have targeted the conservation estate, the scale of potential mining in areas of high ASS, potential acid sulphate leachate, acid groundwater plumes, spreading of dieback and land degradation. The map below details the proximity of our conservation estate to the proposed mining tenements.
The following map locates past mining efforts on the Scott Coastal Plain, as well as Strategic Sands’ proposal ML 70/1385 adjacent to Lake Jasper, other current applications.
Mineral Sand Exploration and Mining Tenements – Scott Coastal Plain.
- Former BHP Beenup Mine Site (Black)
- Cable Sands – Cristal: Scott Coastal Plain – Scott River and Scott River Nature Reserve
- M70/121 Live 675HA lodgement date 30/11/1983
- M70/122 Live 205HA lodgement date 30/11/1983
- M70/123 Live 220HA lodgement date 30/11/1983
- M70/124 Live 993HA lodgement date 30/11/1983
- M70/125 Live 112HA lodgement date 30/11/1983
- Astro Resources NL Governor Broome Sands P/L Heavy Minerals Project R70/53 – 3,536.40000 HA Term 5 years commenced 04/07/2016 expiry 03/07/2021
- Iluka Resources E70/5200 Scott Coastal Plain and Scott River catchment. Status Pending, DMIRS received 09/08/2018 Area 16BL (blocks) Iluka’s exploration licence on its western boundary adjoins Astro Resources eastern boundary.
- Cable Sands – Cristal also have a retention licence R70/22 615HA renewed to 2022.
- Former Cable Sands Jangardup mine site (Black) (on private property).
- Jangardup Cable Sands – Cristal M70/997 Live 8.09150HA
- Cable Sands – Cristal M70/363 448.9HA mining lease extended until 2033 adjoins SER 70/1385 on the NW boundary.
- Strategic Sands M70/1385 498HA pending adjacent to Lake Jasper.
- Taruga Gold Ltd E70/5031 106 Blocks, 30/08/2017 status pending. From Nannup follows Vasse Highway south to Greater Beedulup National Park, Donnelly River, and D’Entrecasteaux National Park east of Lake Jasper and then SE towards Yeagarup Dunes.
Mining leases adjacent to Lake Jasper and the Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands.
The Strategic Sands mineral sand mining tenement application at Lake Jasper is shown on the map below; the location of the proposed mining lease adjacent to Lake Jasper and within the ecologically important Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands, which is part of the catchment of Lake Jasper. It should be noted that Strategic Sands were unable to fully peg the tenement due to the depth of water August 2018. The tenement adjoining the Strategic Sands to the north is Cable Sands – Cristal M70/363 448.9HA mining lease extended until 2033 and Cable Sands – Cristal M70/997 also has an 8.09150HA, which adjoins the former Jangardup tenement. There is a retention licence R70/22 for 615HA renewed to 2022 located in the NW for Cable Sands – Cristal.
The full extent of the wetlands is clearly displayed on this map and it should hopefully leave no doubts about the potential environmental impacts, if such an application was considered as a realistic proposal.
It is important to acknowledge that the area of the mining lease application is unchanged in terms of its ecological values from when it was National Park, that its status as 5 (1) (g)-class reserve does not reflect its ecological value, but the intent of the state government in 1996 as to its use. The area remains part of the pristine Gingilup-Jasper wetland ecosystem. The excised area comes to within 300m of the summer shoreline of Lake Jasper and is within the lake’s winter/spring flooding zone and catchment. The proposed mine will virtually cut the National Park in half at this point, with the potential to completely disrupt the surface hydrological flow and the wildlife corridor that now exists. The area still maintains an ecosystem which is intricately linked to and compliments other areas of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park, through hydrology, wildlife and other ecological flows.
D’Entrecasteaux National Park Excision.
The area of the current mining lease application by Strategic Sands consists of 498 ha of land. Of this, 368Ha were excised from the D’Entrecasteaux National Park in 1996, through the Reserves Bill 1995, in addition to an area on private land. As a result of the excision the protection status of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park land was downgraded to a 5 (1) (g) class reserve solely to facilitate Cable Sands’1996 application to mine adjacent to Lake Jasper.
Former Jangardup mine looking south east towards Lake Jasper
The current status of the mining lease application is suspended whilst the Minister for the Environment consider the environmental, cultural and heritage significance of the area. The State Government is currently progressing a ‘Plan for Our Parks’ process. We encourage everyone who wants to protect our conservation estate and ensure that Lake Jasper and the adjoining Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands are protected for future generations and used sustainably to nominate the area excised in 1996 for return to the D’Entrecasteaux National Park.