Scheme Amendment and Development Application – Vanadium Processing Facility, Tenindewa

Closes 23 Apr 2024

Opened 14 Feb 2024

Overview

Artist impression of the plant

Artist impression only

Consultation is open on both the Scheme Amendment and Development Application.

The purpose of the Scheme Amendment is to rezone a portion of Lots 40 and 41 from the ‘Rural’ to the ‘General Industry’ zone and insert additional development requirements for the site within the scheme.

The Development Application proposes a vanadium processing facility with materials storage and laydown areas, evaporation ponds, internal access roads, two new entry points to Geraldton-Mount Magnet Road, a construction camp and energy infrastructure.

The City of Greater Geraldton and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage are undertaking joint consultation on both the Scheme Amendment and the Development Application to streamline and reduce confusion from the consultation process and avoid unnecessary duplication.

Address: Lots 40 and 41 (DP28736) Geraldton-Mt Magnet
Road, Tenindewa
Local Government: City of Greater Geraldton
Value: $450m

Mid-west residents: Department planners will be available in Mullewa and Geraldton on 14 and 15 March to answer questions about the Development Application and the Part 17 significant development assessment process. For details and to make an appointment, please use the registration form

Questions about the Scheme Amendment can be directed to the City of Greater Geraldton on 9956 6600 or via council@cgg.wa.gov.au.

Scheme Amendment key documents:
CGG Scheme Amendment 18 Report for Public Advertising

Development Application key documents:
Australian Vanadium Project Development Application
Display Plan
Application Form and Certificate of Title – Appendix A  
Site Plans and Elevations - Appendix B
Traffic Impact Statement - Appendix C

Bushfire Management Plan - Appendix D
Environmental Impact Assessment – Appendix E

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is proposed?

The proposed vanadium processing plant is located within a portion of Lots 41 and 42 Geraldton-Mt Magnet Road, Tenindewa (subject site). The plant has various components including energy generation, groundwater extraction, pre-treatment and wastewater management. The plant would receive vanadium concentrate initially from a mine site located near Meekatharra to produce a 99% pure V2O5 flake vanadium product ready for export and further processing. The processed vanadium would be used in the manufacture of a range of products including renewable energy batteries, aerospace parts as well as alloy steels used in construction and tools. An iron-titanium co-product would be exported to overseas steel mills. Export is via road to the Geraldton Port with a future option for rail.

The proposed plant consists of:

  • A vanadium pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical processing plant;
  • Concentrate and materials storage and laydown areas;
  • Processing and evaporation ponds;
  • Internal access roads as well as two new entry points from Geraldton-Mount Magnet Road and Erangy Springs Road, which will separate heavy vehicles from light vehicles;
  • A temporary construction camp and associated activities;
  • Energy infrastructure comprising a stand-alone power plant (being a hybrid of gas and renewable solar power) with installed power capacity of 11.5MW (provision is made for the future installation of Vanadium Redox Flow batteries for energy storage);
  • Ground water extraction bores, reticulation, storage and treatment; and
  • Ground water monitoring bores.

The application prepared by Land Insights on behalf of Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) is seeking approval for this facility via an application for development approval that has been lodged with the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC). Supporting the application is a separate process to amend the City of Greater Geraldton’s Local Planning Scheme No. 1.

Why is a processing facility being proposed in this location?

AVL has advised that the site between Mullewa and Geraldton Port was chosen following a multi-criteria assessment undertaken over several years, taking into account commercial, operating and environmental considerations. AVL has advised that this location provides for an overall lower impact at the mine site while providing for local business and employment opportunities in a stable environment covering the greater Geraldton and Mullewa areas.

Why has a development application been submitted to the WAPC for this site?

A development application for the proposed processing plant has been lodged by Land Insights on behalf of AVL under Part 17 of the Planning and Development Act 2005 (PD Act), which established the WAPC as the decision-making authority for significant development applications to support the State’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. See here for more information about the Part 17 process. 

What is the purpose of the scheme amendment?

The proposed processing plant is classified as an ‘Industry’ land use which is not a permitted use on the subject site, because it is zoned ‘Rural’ under the City of Greater Geraldton Local Planning Scheme No. 1 (LPS1). To progress consideration of the proposed processing plant the applicant has prepared a scheme amendment report which proposes to rezone the area of the site that is being developed from ‘Rural’ to ‘General Industry’. If the scheme is amended, the proposed plant would be classified as a permitted use within the ‘General Industry’ zone if it complies with any relevant development standards and requirements of LPS1.

On 26 April 2023 the City of Greater Geraldton council resolved to initiate and advertise the proposed local planning scheme amendment. The WAPC determined the amendment is suitable for advertising on 9 August 2023.

Has the proposal been referred to the Environmental Protection Authority?

In April 2022, AVL referred the proposed processing plant to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for assessment under Section 38 of Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act). In July 2022, the EPA advised that the referral had been examined and it had determined that assessment under Part IV of the EP Act was not required. The EPA advised that any potential impacts of the proposal could be adequately managed through the implementation of the proposal in accordance with Part V of the EP Act which are a range of secondary approvals including works approvals, native vegetation clearing, water extraction license as well as waste treatment and removal. It further stated other potential environmental and non-environmental impacts could be considered and addressed by other statutory decision-making processes including the development application and building permit assessment processes.

Why is consultation on the scheme amendment and development application happening at the same time?

The scheme amendment and development application are being advertised at the same time by the City and the WAPC to avoid duplication and to assist the public and key stakeholders to provide well informed overall responses. As the scheme amendment and the development application are closely related, advertising the more detailed development application at the same time as the scheme amendment will help provide a better overall understanding of the potential benefits or possible impacts of the proposed plant. Whilst this level of detail is not typically available in a scheme amendment, the advertising both sets of plans provides a single place to view project information and plans, make a submission and find more information on both the scheme amendment and development application.

Can I make a submission on both the scheme amendment and the development application?

Yes, you can make a submission on either the scheme amendment or the development application, or both. The City and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (Department) are hosting public advertising through the Department’s online Consultation Hub to simplify the joint consultation process. Using the online form will ensure submissions are received and are valid. You do not have to create an account to make an online submission, you can add attachments and all submissions received are considered by the decision-makers as confidential.

How do I make a submission if I cannot do so using the Department’s online Consultation Hub platform?

If you have digital access issues that prevent you from making a submission via the Consultation Hub, please contact the Department on 6551 9450 for assistance. You can also post a written submission to: Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, State Development Assessment Unit, Locked Bag 2506, Perth WA 6001.

Will my submission or personal details be provided to the City of Greater Geraldton?

All submissions received on both the scheme amendment and the development application will be provided to the City.

Will my submission or personal details be released to the public?

No. A schedule of the submissions received will be provided to the City and WAPC, however individual names and addresses will not be part of the published materials. 

How is the scheme amendment assessed and who decides whether it is approved?

The scheme amendment is required to be advertised for public comment in accordance with the requirements of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015. It is important to emphasise that although council has resolved to initiate advertising of the scheme amendment, this does not indicate support for the scheme amendment until a full assessment has been undertaken and submissions received from the public have been considered.

Once advertising closes the City will consider all submissions received on the proposed scheme amendment and prepare a report for council recommending they either support (with or without modifications) or not proceed with the scheme amendment. The council meeting where the scheme amendment is considered will be open to the public and anyone who makes a submission on either the scheme amendment or the development application will be invited to attend.

This recommendation of council will then be provided to the WAPC to consider the proposal and then make a recommendation to the Minister for Planning, who will make the final decision.

How is the development application assessed and who makes a decision on whether it will be approved?

The Department will assess the proposal and prepare a report, along with a recommendation, for the WAPC. This assessment will focus on matters such as strategic planning and potential impacts on the environment, local amenity, traffic and bushfire management, and will also take into account submissions received during the advertising process. The report will either recommend that the application be approved (with or without conditions) or be refused. 

Can the WAPC make a decision on the development application before the City makes a decision on the scheme amendment?

Yes, the WAPC can make a decision on the development application prior to the scheme amendment being finalised.  As the amendment process can take longer than the time taken to determine a development application, the WAPC will consider the scheme amendment and the development application at separate meetings. However, in making any decision on the development application, the draft scheme amendment would be a relevant consideration on the basis that it has been advertised and is considered to be ‘seriously entertained’ planning document.

When will this application be determined?

There are no statutory timeframes to assess a development application under the temporary Part 17 significant development assessment pathway, however applications are required to be determined as soon as is reasonably practical. Once a meeting date is confirmed, any person who made a submission on either the scheme amendment or the development application will be advised and offered the opportunity to attend the meeting either in person or virtually via Zoom. They can also apply to make a presentation (deputation) to the WAPC.

Where can I get more information?

While public advertising is open, the scheme amendment and the development application can be viewed online at consultation.dplh.wa.gov.au or in person at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, Level 2, 140 William Street, Perth (by appointment) or at the City’s  administration centres in either Geraldton or Mullewa. Alternatively, you can contact SDAUconsultation@dplh.wa.gov.au or 6551 9450 to make an appointment to speak with a planner at the DPLH office in Perth, or make any other enquiries.

Department planners will also be available at the City’s Geraldton office on 14 March and at the City’s Mullewa office on 15 March 2024 to answer questions about this development application and the Part 17 significant development assessment process. To make an appointment, please use the registration form.

When does the consultation period close?

Submissions will be accepted until 11.59pm on 23 April 2024.

 

Have your say

Areas

  • Gascoyne Region

Audiences

  • Residents
  • Business Operators
  • Land Owners
  • Community Organisations

Interests

  • Development Applications and Amendment to Development Applications