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Murchison Metals receives boost as EPA recommends approval for JHEP

Murchison Metals (ASX: MMX) has received a major boost for the Jack Hills Expansion Project (JHEP) today with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of Western Australia recommending approval.

The significance is that the Jack Hills mine expansion could be managed to meet the EPA’s objectives, subject to various conditions, for an increase in production to over 20 million tonnes annually of high quality iron ore concentrates - from the current 1.8 million tonnes.

The recommendation by the EPA follows the determination in April 2011 by the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) that the JHEP is “not a controlled action” under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act), and that further assessment is not required under the EPBC Act.

The EPA’s recommendation will now be subject to a 14 day appeals period before being considered by the Western Australia Minister for Environment.

Jack Hills is owned by Crosslands Resources, with Murchison and Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan’s largest general trading company, each holding a respective 50% stake in Crosslands.