So­lar salt pro­ducer wears eco-cre­den­tials on sleeve

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Ger­man salt giant K+S Salt has stressed its eco-cre­den­tials af­ter a week-long trip around the Ex­mouth Gulf, where it is propos­ing to con­struct a new 3.5 mil­lion tonnes a year so­lar salt project.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the com­pany, in­clud­ing Aus­tralian man­ag­ing direc­tor Ger­rit Godecke, vis­ited Onslow and Ex­mouth last week to hear views from both com­mu­ni­ties on its pro­posed Ash­bur­ton Salt project 40km south of Onslow.

Mr Godecke said the peo­ple of Ex­mouth and Onslow had been wel­com­ing and in­for­ma­tive.

“We want to en­gage with the lo­cal com­mu­nity early on, let ev­ery­one know what we in­tend to do, how the process looks and gain as much feedback as we can con­cern­ing things like en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact,” he said.

“We don’t be­lieve we know ev­ery­thing from far away so we want that lo­cal feedback.”

Mr Godecke said the com­pany had learnt some new things which would be in­cor­po­rated into the project’s en­vi­ron­men­tal anal­y­sis.

The project has been re­ferred to the State’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity.

Mr Godecke said the K+S project was tak­ing a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ap­proach to the failed Yan­narie lease nearby.

“Ash­bur­ton salt is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent project with a much smaller foot­print,” he said.

“Apart from the dif­fer­ence in sheer size there are many many dif­fer­ences in the tech­ni­cal side of the project.”

These in­clude not us­ing bit­terns stor­age, min­imis­ing or avoid­ing dredg­ing and in­creased buf­fers to the del­i­cate coast­line.

Mr Godecke said it was im­por­tant for K+S Salt to be “good neigh­bours” to the com­mu­ni­ties it op­er­ated in.

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