Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications
Answers to Estimates questions on notice by the Office of the Supervising Scientist on 23 May 2012
Senator Ludlam asked:
Senator LUDLAM: Is it your understanding-feel free to dispute this if I am wrong-that because this is an exploration shaft, if the company encounters mineralised ore on their way down the tunnel, which is quite extensive, they would not be licensed or approved to mill any mineralised ore that comes out of there?
Mr Hughes: I do not believe they would be licensed to process that ore, no.
Senator LUDLAM: Me either. Could you just confirm that for us. You sound like you are not quite locked in on that one. You can phone a friend if you want, but I am interested in getting
confirmation of what will happen-whether their licence conditions for this exploration activity, as the company has put it, would preclude milling anything that comes out of the tunnel.
Dr Dripps: We will have to take that question on notice, Senator.
Under the current approval, any mineralised ore intercepted and extracted by Energy Resources of Australia Limited as part of the Ranger 3 Deeps exploration project is not able to be milled. This ore would need to be separately stockpiled on site and returned to the decline once the exploration project has concluded.