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04/03 - Collapse claims untrue: Unity

THE Bay Post/Moruya Examiner put Coastwatchers’ concerns to Unity Mining managing director Andrew McIllwain this week.

He said it was “rubbish” that Unity Mining did not have adequate funding to cope with a catastrophe at the mine.

“We will not start the project if we don’t consider we’ve got the resources to complete and operate it appropriately,” he said.

“Unity has the resources and the capability to manage any risks and the community can have confidence in us building and operating the project.”

Mr McIllwain said the NSW government required the company to lodge a $3 million environmental bond for the project.

On claims the tailings storage dam would not only contain traces of cyanide but also heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, copper and arsenic, Mr McIllwain said the only metals to be found in the tailings facility were those dug up from the ground in the mining process.

He denied processing with cyanide produced byproducts.

“The management of the tailings facility is such that it’s kept in a wet environment. As a consequence, it’s not acid-producing and it contains trace elements that are naturally occurring in the ground,” he said.

“When you pull up the ore, that has the trace elements in it.

“We do a full spectrum analysis. I think we look at 57 different elements in what we sample of the ore body.

“We report how much mercury might be in there – there’s none – but we analyse for those sorts of things.”

Mr McIllwain recognised previous breaches of sediment control during heavy rain at the site in 2013, when the initial earthworks were being carried out.

However, he rejected claims from several speakers at Sunday’s protest that the box cut at the mine had collapsed and sediment dams had failed.

“There has been no geotechnical failures in the box cut,” he said.

“There are sediment dams on the site, none of which have failed.

“There was inadequacy in some of our protection back in February 2013, and that has all been subject of the EPA prosecution.”

 

http://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/story/2919935/collapse-claims-untrue-u...

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