Mining in Australia and NSW is heavily regulated. Before the Tomingley Gold Extension Project can proceed, our proposal will be rigorously examined to ensure the optimum outcome for the environment, local community and the regional economy.
The first and most significant approval needed is State Significant Development (SSD) consent from the NSW government. SSD approval involves a rigorous series of social, environmental and economic studies to assess the potential impact of the project (positive and negative). These studies form the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is exhibited to the public for feedback prior to approval being granted.
Following SSD approval, we also need a range of other approvals and licences. The two main ones are the Mining Lease and the Environment Protection Licence.
State Significant Development (SSD) approval process
SSD approval involves a rigorous series of studies and stakeholder consultations, where TGO (assisted by independent consultants) assesses the potential impact of the project on the environment, local community and the regional economy.
There are several formal steps associated with SSD approval, designed to facilitate input from the local community, stakeholder groups, industry regulators and government agencies. These key groups all play a vital role in enabling TGO to obtain government approval for the project.
The various stages of the SSD approval process are outlined below.
1. Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs)
The first phase of the SSD approval process involves applying for Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). This lists the full range of matters to be addressed in the EIS.
The SEARs under consideration for the Tomingley Gold Extension Project include:
- Noise and vibration
- Air quality
- Surface and groundwater
- Traffic and transportation
- Soils, land capability and agricultural impact, including an assessment of the presence or otherwise of Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land (BSAL)
- Rehabilitation and final landform design
- Social and economic
2. Preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
The EIS is the central component of the SSD approval process and informs the final design and evaluation of the project. It:
- identifies the scale and nature of likely impacts of the project on the environment, local community and the regional economy (based on the SEARS identified);
- describes potential management and mitigation measures; and
- outlines proposed levels of assessment and approach.
TGO has engaged a number of independent specialist consultants to prepare the EIS.
Two key components of the EIS are the social and economic impact assessments. These involve direct consultation with representatives of the community and stakeholder groups who may be affected by the project (e.g. neighbours, residents, businesses, government agencies, NGOs, Newell Highway users and local Aboriginal communities). The feedback from these consultations will provide information used to prepare the EIS.
We intend to submit the EIS in early 2021.
3. Public exhibition of the development application and EIS
Once the EIS is submitted, TGO’s full development application (DA) and EIS will be made available for public viewing for a minimum of 28 days. This will occur on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s (DPIE) Major Projects website.
During this public exhibition phase, members of the community and stakeholders are invited to provide feedback in the form of submissions. These public submissions may support or object to the project and must be made within the public exhibition period.
We estimate the public exhibition will take place in the first quarter of 2021. Submissions in support of the project will help us meet our goal of obtaining consent by mid 2021.
4. Responding to submissions
All public submissions will be published online. To assist with assessment, TGO must respond to any relevant issues raised. We may engage further with the community and amend the project design as part of this process. The submissions report will also be published online.
5. Assessment by NSW government
DPIE will assess the merits of the project in accordance with government legislation, policies and guidelines. The assessment report will be published online prior to determination.
The final decision on whether the project can proceed is made by either DPIE or the Independent Planning Commission, depending on submissions.
Tell us what you think
During the public exhibition of the development application and EIS (min 28 days, estimated first quarter 2021), members of the community and stakeholder groups can make a formal submission for or against the project. We’ll provide information about how to make a submission closer to the date. We’ll also arrange public information sessions (COVID-19 safe) at an appropriate time.
Outside of the public exhibition, you are welcome to ask questions about the project at any time. You can do this in the following ways:
- Contact the TGO Community Consultative Committee (CCC) – The consultation team has been working closely with the CCC to guide the engagement process. The CCC comprises representatives from the local community, Narromine Shire Council, TGO and an independent chairperson.
- Contact us via email or telephone to ask a question or provide comment.
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Alkane communicates regularly about the status of the Tomingley Gold Extension Project via a number of different channels. Subscribe to these for the latest information: