Lithium refinery flawed
A FEW observations concerning the progress of the Kemerton (KSIA) lithium refinery proposal.
Along with apparent finalisation of EPA input to the project, things are becoming clearer as to the eventual practical mall-effect for the environment and the community, in other words the debit side of the ledger.
It has always been known KSIA has a problem with a high water table on permeable sand with surface drainage to the adjacent river system and onwards to the Leschenault Estuary. In addition there is an acknowledged leakage of surface water into the sub aquifers.
Original plans included the construction of two lined holding ponds to accommodate the undoubtedly polluted rain run-off from the almost completely sealed plant area and usable as input to plant processes. Changes have now been made as the ponds will now be unlined allowing direct seepage to the aquifers. In both instances any overflow situation in effect included direction to the Wellesley River.
If there is any logic for the change it is probably connected to the realisation that any high rainfall event could well overwhelm the whole system. In its report the EPA rightly comments that the region at times is prone to particulate pollution from seasonal fire and burn-offs. In the proponent’s output they seem to suggest therefore there is no problem with some extra above that “normal” situation, an illogical example of spin if ever. Likewise with increased road traffic movements, both in the build and operational phase. As a 24/7 operation there will be times when the road system is adequate but the everincreasing normal traffic flow on highways during peak periods should be taken into account. The spin that the road system is perfectly adequate is plainly ridiculous.
Of course the KSIA Lithium project is largely about just trucking material – 700,000 cu m of fill imported to raise site level, raw input from Greenbushes, product to Fremantle, tailings and waste to unknown. The total subsequent diesel fuel used must be of some consequence to the C02 load on the atmosphere .
Just three pertinent words directed at proponents of the project – eyes wide shut. Geoff Tothill, Binningup