Fine for FMG after saline spill at mine

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Fortescue Metals Group has paid a $25,000 fine after a hypersaline discharge impacted vegetation at a Pilbara mine site.

Chichester Metals pty Ltd, owned by FMG, was issued a Modified Penalty by the Department of Environmental Regulations in Ma,y 2015, after 2.5-3.6 million litres of hypersaline water impacted approximately 7.5ha of mulga and acacia trees.

Close to double the salinity of sea water, the water was discharged via an open valve on a pipeline at FMG’s Cloudbreak Iron Ore Mine in Mulga Downs

DER acting director-general Dan Volaric said while the company had taken steps to prevent recurrences in the future, the emission was significant.

“The penalty of $25,000 is appropriate in this circumstance, considering the magnitude of the spill,” Mr Volaric said.

“Incidents like this could be prevented.”

FMG chief executive officer Nev Power said Fortescue was committed to safeguarding the environment for future generations through responsible environmental management.

“The company continues to invest in initiatives and technologies that minimise its environmental impacts and contribute to sustainable environmental management,” he said.

“This includes the investigation of a telemetric solution and drone technology to monitor our water infrastructure efficiently.”

A Modified Penalty is issued when the required statutory conditions involving timely notification, site remediation and measures to prevent recurrence have been met.

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