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25/07 - Mine seeks longer life

If a modification to the Dargues Reef Gold Mine, at Majors Creek, is approved, the mine may finally be able to begin operating. 

The modification being sought includes expanding the mines operational life from August 31, 2018, to December 31, 2024, increasing the approved maximum ore extraction from 1.2 to 1.6 million tonnes, constructing and using a storage area for waste rock storage, constructing and using a vehicle crossing over Spring Creek and amending the project boundary. 

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has recommended to the Planning and Assessment Commission that the modification, put forward by Diversified Minerals, who bought Unity Mining, be approved.

Diversified Minerals is not seeking approval to use cyanide at the Majors Creek site, or to change the design of the approved tailings storage facility, like Unity Mining did.

Deua Valley resident Tom Wells, who opposes the mine, is “disappointed” in the recommendation. 

“The department gives this recommendation for approval despite the overwhelming majority of the local community and broader public opposing it,” he said. 

“Two shire councils also object: Palerang, in which the mine site is located, and Eurobodalla, whose primary drinking water source, the Deua River, stands to receive any pollution that escapes the mine site.”

Mr Wells said, while assessment commissions determination will matter, the gold mine is “not viable” without the latest modification being approved.

“The current mining license expires on August 31, 2018, and ore extraction has not yet commenced. It takes one to two years just to bring the mine up to full operation,” he said. 

“The extension of operational life is a crux of the modification.”

The planning commission is holding a meeting at Braidwood Serviceman’s Club on July 26 at 9am to hear the publics’ views on the report and recommendation before determining the proposal. Speakers must register by contacting Aaron Brown on 9383 2112 before July 21 to make a presentation. 

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