ABC News
Samantha Goerling
Posted Friday 25 Feb 2022 at 9:20am

Yara says chemical contamination on Burrup Peninsula poses ‘no risk’, but scientist fears pollution

An ammonium nitrate company in the Pilbara claims multiple releases of effluent from its plant on the Burrup Peninsula pose “no risk to people or the flora and fauna of the surrounding environment”.

The Yara Pilbara Nitrates plant produces technical ammonium nitrate, an ingredient used for blasting in the mining industry. The joint venture between operator Yara and Orica opened in August 2016.

In groundwater monitoring reports, Yara detailed several “unplanned releases” of process effluent containing ammonium and nitrate, which had occurred at the site.

Key points:

  • In 2017 and 2018, spills from Yara Pilbara Nitrate’s facility caused nitrogen and ammonium to flow into groundwater
  • In 2021, heavy rainfall flushed contaminated water into King Bay
  • An ecological assessment of nitrate impacts is expected to be reported “in the coming months”

Read more