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04/03 - Last-ditch effort from failing company?

AS a resident of Moruya I am very concerned about the proposal to allow cyanide processing at the Dargues Creek mine in the headwaters of the Deua River, our source of fresh drinking water.

Unity Mining was given the final go-ahead for the mine in February 2012 on the clear understanding there would be no cyanide processing on site.

It was this agreement that reassured residents about having the mine in such a sensitive environmental location.

Now, just three years later, Unity wants to include cyanide processing.

What will be next?

Will they want to truck ore in from other mines for processing, even though they assure us now this is not on the agenda?

Unity Mining is struggling – its share price is very low, the price of gold is low – building processing facilities does not come cheaply.

Surely it will want to maximise its investment in the site, especially since they have been unable to get approval to establish a processing plant elsewhere.

This company has already received significant fines for a number of environmental breaches during its construction phase.

Allowing cyanide processing would introduce materials into the tailings dam that need to be kept out of the environment for the foreseeable future.

The mine currently has an operating life of five years.

There is a very tragic history of the failure of tailings dams around the world.

Are we willing to risk this threat to our drinking water and food-producing land for a mine that will return very little to this community?

I will be making a submission against this proposal once it is on public exhibition at the shire libraries and I thank the council for making sure the information will be readily available to the community.

Robyne Stacey


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