Quarry awaits approvals for its reopening

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Shire of Denmark chief executive Bill Parker hopes the Ocean Beach Lime Quarry can be reopened in the next month as it awaits permits relating to a series of environmental and operational breaches.

The mine ceased operation in October after concerns were raised by the Environmental Protection Authority, the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

The three authorities outlined a number of “non-compliance issues”, including exceeding the allowable excavation depth, invalid Aboriginal heritage surveys and failure to submit updated environment and mining management plans.

Mr Parker said there were two more permits required before the quarry could resume work.

“The Shire is anticipating that the environmental management plan and mining plan will be endorsed by the relevant authorities within the next month,” he said.

The Shire council passed a motion last Tuesday to award the new contract for the quarry to Palmer Earthmoving. The WA Local Government Association was called in to help the Shire with the selection of a new contractor.

The quarry has operated since the 1960s and produced 15,000 tonnes of limestone each year, generating $120,000 for the Shire.

The mine is now expected to produce 20,000 tonnes and bring in $166,000 profit. Mr Parker said the $60,000 transferred from the quarry’s reserve fund had covered the costs of attaining the necessary permits but he was unsure if any fines would be issued by DMP.

“The Shire has not received a response from DMP in relation to enforcement action at the Ocean Beach Lime Quarry,” he said.

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