McPhillamys Gold Project

The McPhillamys Gold Project is located in Blayney, approximately 250 km west of Sydney in the established mining region of Central West NSW.

Regis Resources Ltd | Blayney, Central West New South Wales, Australia

Project overview
The McPhillamys Gold Project was recently approved by the NSW Independent Planning Commission. The project includes a proposed open cut gold mine, associated mine infrastructure, and a water supply pipeline. The mine development component of the project will produce around 200,000 ounces of gold per annum over approximately 11 years of an overall anticipated project life of 15 years. The pipeline development will supply the majority of water required for the mine development, transferring water from Centennial’s Angus Place Colliery and Springvale Coal Services Operations; and Energy Australia’s Mount Piper Power Station operations near Lithgow, to the mine development during the operational phase of the project.

Our involvement
The EMM Environmental Approvals team led the environmental impact statement (EIS), response to submissions, first amendment report and the majority of required technical assessments for the project. Key issues include the location of the proposed tailings storage facility within the upper reaches of the Belubula River catchment, minimising impacts to EPBC listed Box Gum Woodland and Koala habitat, avoidance of biophysical strategic agricultural land (BSAL), and amenity and social impacts on rural residential development to the south of the proposed mine.

The main source of stakeholder concern relating to this project was the proximity of the proposed mine to a number of rural residential properties in the locality of Kings Plains, immediately south of the proposed mine site.

During the impact assessment process, the project design was altered significantly to reduce amenity related impacts on the residents of Kings Plains – a village immediately to the south of the proposed mine site. Early calculations identified that noise emissions had the potential to exceed noise criteria for residences in the Kings Plains locality.

Our EIS team worked with Regis to re-configure the mine plan, and in particular the waste rock emplacement design and mine schedule to minimise the noise impacts on residents, while maintaining an economic mine plan, and to develop mitigation measures (eg tailored individual landscape plans). The outcome of this redesign was a mine plan for which a significant reduction in predicted noise emissions to neighbouring properties was achieved.

Technical solutions
  • Air Quality
  • Bushfire
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Regulatory Approvals
  • Groundwater
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Soil, Land Resources and Erosion
  • Surface Water