Quarry halt to hit Shire bottom line

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

The Shire of Denmark will lose $120,000 in revenue with the Ocean Beach Lime Quarry to remain closed for the rest of the year.

The quarry produces about 15,000 tonnes of limestone for the Shire but was forced to cease operations after concerns over breaches were raised by the Environmental Protection Authority, the Department of Mines and Petroleum, and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in October last year.

It has remained closed since then.

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

Shire chief executive Bill Parker said the Western Australian Local Government Association was assisting the Shire with tendering and contract issues.

“Following the decision in October to cease mining at the Ocean Beach Lime Quarry, the Shire of Denmark has been working to improve practices and address areas of non-compliance,” he said

“Council will consider WALGA’s recommendation to appoint a suitable contractor at the ordinary council meeting in April; however, mining operations will not resume until all relevant approvals are in place.

“As a result, the Shire of Denmark will be unable to supply lime sand this year.”

Mr Parker said the loss of income had been accounted for in the Shire’s budget.

“The reduction in revenue from the temporary closure of the Ocean Beach Lime Quarry has been considered during the Shire of Denmark’s mid-year budget review, with all financial aspects of the closure factored into the projected balanced budget as at June 30, 2017,” he said

“Mining operations will resume once all relevant approvals have been received, with the Shire of Denmark looking forward to supplying local lime in future seasons.”

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