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11/02 - PROCESSING FACILITY AND GOLD MINE UNNACEPTABLE: PAUL COCKRAM

The Greens candidate for Monaro Paul Cockram said that it is unacceptable to develop a major regional processing facility and gold mine next to the village of Majors Creek.

The Dargues Reef Gold Project proposed by Cortona will have serious impacts on the community of Majors Creek through industrial noise, increased traffic, dust pollution and high risk to drinking and stock water from the creek and bores. Also at risk are regionally significant vegetation communities, threatened species and conservation reserves as well as the surface and ground waters of Majors Creek, Araluen Valley and the Deua River Catchment.

An independent report commissioned by Eurobodalla Shire Council has also slammed the project, identifying high risks to the Deua Catchment including pollution by sewage, hydrocarbons and chemicals.

ÔÇ£Cortona propose to use the reagents Potassium Amyl Xanthate and Nitric Acid. Xanthates may be toxic to aquatic biota at concentrations of less than 1 mg/L and can be a water contaminant downstream of mining operations,ÔÇØ said Paul.

ÔÇ£The project is part of a larger development that is looking to expand north from Majors Creek as far as Bombay. Cortona is drilling in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment at Exeter Farm and are continuing exploration activities for gold and silver.ÔÇØ

The proponent, Cortona Resources, has recently provided responses to the thousands of submissions received about the project.

The proponent has stated that the Gold Project represents ÔÇÿa single, highly-regulated operation in a catchment with numerous agricultural and other operations, all of which have the potential to adversely impact on water users downstream of the Project SiteÔÇÖ.

ÔÇ£Commercial orchard growers in the Araluen Valley represent an important sustainable industry, and are involved in Landcare and are concerned with water use,ÔÇØ said Paul.

ÔÇ£The proponent has not addressed the change in climate with shorter, more intense periods of rainfall, because they claim they donÔÇÖt need to.

ÔÇ£Although the proponent appears confident about water modelling, they recently conceded that: ÔÇÿit is the role of the relevant government agencies to assess the adequacy or otherwise of documents provided in support of applications for project approvalÔÇÖ.

ÔÇ£This is another case where the rural community is taking second place to mining,ÔÇØ concluded Paul Cockram.

The Dargues Reef Gold Project is currently under assessment and can be viewed at: http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/

http://nsw.greens.org.au/content/processing-facility-and-gold-mine-unnac...

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