Solomon Iron Ore Expansion and associated railway 60 km north of Tom Price, Shire of Ashburton

Closed 4 Aug 2014

Opened 29 Jul 2014

Feedback updated 13 Oct 2014

We asked

Public comment was invited on the referral to help the EPA determine the appropriate level of assessment.

You said

There were two comments on the referral, one indicating an API-B and one a PER level of assessment.

We did

The EPA determined that the proposal be assessed as a PER with a public review period of six weeks as it is for a !arge scale expansion !hat raises a number of environmental factors !hat may potentially be impacted.


Fortescue Metals Group Limited is proposing to increase the footprint and mining life of the Solomon Iron Ore Project.  The proposal consists of expanding mining operations and rail infrastructure beyond the current footprint.  Fortescue Metals Group Limited is also seeking approval for an external borefield to provide an additional water supply to support the expansion. 

The extent of proposed ground disturbance is approximately:

  • 11,322 hectares for the mine expansion within a development envelope of 33,520 hectares;
  • 700 hectares for an additional external borefield within an development  envelope of 33,712 hectares; and
  • 476 hectares for additional permanent rail infrastructure within the 29,257 hectare rail corridor envelope (which includes a spur). 

The combined area of disturbance is approximately 12,498 hectares.  This is in addition to the 6,297 hectares of disturbance area approved under Ministerial Statement No. 862 for the original proposal and results in a total disturbance footprint of 18,795 hectares.  

What happens next

Following the seven day public comment period and consideration of any comments received, the EPA will decide whether or not this proposal requires environmental impact assessment and, if so, what level of assessment will be applied.

The Chairman's decisions on level of assessment are released each Monday on the EPA's website.


  • All of Western Australia


  • Public


  • Seven-day comment on referrals