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12/12 - Residents flown to Tassie mine

ON TOUR: Bay Post/Moruya Examiner editor Carmen McIntosh, James Bennett from ABC Canberra, Unity Mining managing director Andrew McIllwain, Deua River Valley resident Peter Cormick, Majors Creek residents Richard Pearce and Damien Bigg, Eurobodalla resident and Coastwatchers representative Julia Mayo-Ramsay, Araluen resident David Lever and Brett Corven from Eurobodalla Shire Council.

ON TOUR: Bay Post/Moruya Examiner editor Carmen McIntosh, James Bennett from ABC Canberra, Unity Mining managing director Andrew McIllwain, Deua River Valley resident Peter Cormick, Majors Creek residents Richard Pearce and Damien Bigg, Eurobodalla resident and Coastwatchers representative Julia Mayo-Ramsay, Araluen resident David Lever and Brett Corven from Eurobodalla Shire Council.

UNITY Mining flew eight community stakeholders to its Tasmanian mine on Wednesday to see how it processes gold with cyanide firsthand.

The six residents and two media representatives were flown on a chartered flight to the Apple Isle and were shown around the Henty Gold Mine’s processing plant.

The trip was part of Unity Mining’s commitment to ensure residents were informed prior to it lodging a modification to its Dargues project at Majors Creek. 

The Henty Gold Mine, adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, produces gold using a cyanide leach facility similar to that which is planned for Dargues.

Unity Mining is seeking a modification to the existing planning approval to advance the development of its $250 million project. The proposed modification includes allowing final gold processing with cyanide on site.

Previously the miner planned to truck its product to Parkes for processing, however a complex legal challenge over use of the facility struck it off the option list.

Unity’s managing director Andrew McIllwain said on Wednesday he respected the community’s concern.

He said the company had looked at alternatives other than doing final gold processing processing at Dargues, but none were as viable.

These included  selling the product to a gold processing facility and taking over another company with a processing facility.

Residents who attended the trip were largely positive about what they had seen.

Majors Creek resident Damien Bigg said it was good to go down and see the operations firsthand, as there was a lot of misinformation in the community.

He still had concerns about processing noise, however.

“It will send straight across the area – there’s not one person in Majors Creek that’s not going to hear it,” he said.

“Night-time is the issue.”

Fellow Majors Creek resident Richard Pearce had several concerns about the use of cyanide, particularly the amount used and what happened to it after processing.

After the tour, however, his concerns were allayed.

“I think it was fantastic,” he said

It certainly changed my opinion of the use of cyanide in mines.”

He was particularly pleased that the cyanide pellets would be processed in self-contained pods.

Mr Pearce still holds concerns about how the tailings storage facility, an open air lined pit for treated water and waste products, would fit into the Dargues project.

• A community information session on the Dargues project will be held on Wednesday, December 17, between 2pm and 7pm, at the Luhana Motel in Moruya. Experts will be on hand to answer any questions residents may have about the mining process.

http://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/story/2758973/residents-flown-to-tassi...
 

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