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23/02 - Cyanide processing will be properly scrutinised, says Unity Mining CEO

UNITY Mining’s managing director Andrew McIllwain is confident the company’s proposal to process gold with cyanide at its Majors Creek mine will be properly scrutinised.

Unity has submitted its environmental assessment to NSW Planning for review, after which it will go on exhibition for public comment.

Mr McIllwain said the document included an extensive range of risk assessments, including potential impacts to the Eurobodalla’s water supply.

“We’ve in fact been through all of the potential risks and all of the potential scenarios that would impact on the environment and we are confident that we have all the processes or the procedures or the mechanisms in place that will protect the environment,” he said.

“Whatever has been deemed necessary by the planning department we have in there.

“We haven’t taken this lightly and the assurance that we will provide the people is that it is well engineered and it will be well operated.”

Ms McIllwain said Unity Mining was not “trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes”.

“I understand that people have a belief that we should be going back through a formal project approval for the entire project, but this is in fact not a major change, we’re not introducing processing to the site,” he said.

“People are not aware that we are in fact going to crush and grind and process rock on site…we have an approved processing facility.

“It’s the cyanide tankage that is going on the back of all that processing plant that we’re talking about.”

He said the major risk was the stability of the tailings storage dam, which had already been approved and assessed, not what was in it.

Mr McIllwain said the five environmental breaches at site when construction began were unrelated to the operation of the project.

“They were very unfortunate and regrettable incidents associated with stormwater drainage,” he said.

“I think our performance over the last 12 or 18 months where there has been far more rain that we’ve had at when those incidents occurred and we’ve been able to mange and contain everything on site.

“If people think that our operating capacity is such high risk then I’m sure they’ll either not approve this or withdraw our license.”

He said he was confident the matter would be referred to the Planning and Assessment Commission for review and that it would not be determined until after the state election.

“Once it’s up on public exhibition it’s up for a minimum of 28 days and then it can be extended at their discretion,” he said.

“If they think it needs further time for review and then if there are more than 25 objections it progresses up to the Planning and Assessment Commission for their adjudication.

“I would be happy for it to go to there because it’s an independent adjudicator.

“We’ve submitted our homework and someone else needs to determine whether it’s appropriate or not.”

 

http://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/story/2901282/unity-cyanide-processing...

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