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05/11 - Gold mine plans for Majors Creek trouble locals

Cortona Resources plans to extract $350 million worth of gold from Majors Creek near Braidwood over the next six years.

Locals in the quiet southeast village fear noise from mining and rock crushing 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But Cortona's managing director Peter Van der Borgh says it has to operate continuously to be economical for the investment.

"We've built around about eight million dollars worth of capital investment has been put into mitigating the impacts of noise and other things, including housing the crushing plant, rubber lining on the mill and dust containment by putting the ore in a bin."

"In order to mine and process what we require, in order to fund and pay back that funding... we will be required to extract and produce a certain amount of gold each year for a number of years."

"50 to 60,000 ounces a year is what's required to be produced and repay capital investment of around about $50 million."

Gold was first mined at Majors Creek in the 1850s.

Up until 1916, the miners found gold in the quartz streams, which they liberated by crushing the rock.

Dargues Reef is a "disseminated pyrite lode," which had been difficult to extract until now.

This ore is going to be extracted through crushing and washing the pyrite off the sand.

The gold dore is then going to be trucked away from the mine, avoiding the use locally of cyanide.

You can read the environmental impact statement here
Palerang Council will query the 24/7 gold mine operation

The Palerang Council has agreed to ask the NSW Government to force the mine to only operate 12 hours a day, for at least the first year.

Majors Creek resident Murray Harrex says "if this mine does work 24 hours a day, it will certainly change a lot of lifestyles in the area.

"Quite a few people are talking about moving already.

"But I'm certainly not anti-mine, but I've just got issues with the fact these guys want to work extended hours."

"It's using the crushers 24 hours a day that's going to make a lot of noise."

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