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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
November 7, 1996
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has given the environmental go-ahead for the $500 million Korea Zinc Australia Pty Ltd zinc refining and smelting operation in Townsville.
The proposed zinc smelter is expected to produce 170 000 tonnes of zinc ingots per year, adding value to Australian produced zinc concentrate.
More than 1500 new jobs in the Townsville region alone will result from the project.
When this project is fully developed, it will also provide a major environmental benefit as it will introduce to Australia revolutionary technology which renders the major waste product of zinc smelting an inert slag.
This technology will result in significant environmental gains in relation to zinc processing.
Stringent conditions safeguarding the environmental performance of the project have been set following a cooperative environmental impact assessment by Commonwealth and Queensland agencies.
Officers from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Environment Protection Group within the Environment Portfolio were formally involved in the environmental impact assessment. This assessment resulted in detailed documentation being produced under Queensland legislation.
The public review of the environment assessment documentation and subsequent negotiations have significantly refined the original proposal, ensuring that the management regime to be applied will be world's best practice.
Commonwealth officers played a key role in developing the conditions to which the project will be subject.
The development of the Korea Zinc Australia Pty Ltd zinc refining and smelting operation is an example of how State and Commonwealth Governments can work together to ensure that sensible development proceeds in Australia, in accordance with the highest possible environmental standards.
Media contact - Matt Brown (Minister) (06) 277 7640 or 0419 693 515
John Ashe (Department) (06) 274 1444