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10/01 - Mine’s proposal still toxic

UNITY Mining’s proposal to use cyanide at its Dargues gold mine at Majors Creek has caused a great deal of concern in the community.

Cyanide is highly toxic but, unfortunately for affected communities, it is the most economical method to extract gold from ore.

Because of the method’s cost-effectiveness, and the company’s financial troubles, Unity has decided to renege on its undertakings to not apply for approval to use cyanide on site. 

In a public relations exercise, Unity flew six residents to its Henty gold mine in Tasmania, where cyanide is used, and has also run a number of public information forums at Araluen, Braidwood and Moruya.

At Henty, I saw the cyanidation process first-hand and had many of my concerns about the process allayed.

My concerns are now primarily focused on the integrity of the tailings storage.

I have been involved with the gold mine from the beginning - and I remain an objector, though not because I am opposed to mining per se.

I support environmentally responsible mining - for a number of reasons, including that we all benefit from it.

I object because of the location of the mine: on the edge of an escarpment, within the Deua River Valley.

The river and its tributaries support households and agriculture in the valley and the river provides Eurobodalla Shire with about 80 per cent of its water.

The environmental impact statement to accompany the application is expected to be available at the end of this month.

A study of it will enable people to argue their case and to argue for more stringent conditions should approval be given.

Peter Cormick

Deua River Valley

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