Positively questionable

MR David Lever (Letters, December 17) congratulates Unity Mining Limited for its openness in relation to its Henty operation on the West Coast of Tasmania – hardly comparable with the location of the Dargues Mine at Majors Creek.

It is rather like comparing apples and oranges. He completely ignores the principle that one of the original “Limits on Approval” for the project was: “The Proponent (Unity Mining) shall not … d) use cyanide or mercury on site to process or extract gold from the project.”

There was very grudging community acceptance of the mine operation as a result of what was seen as a promise from the bureaucrats.

It is this limitation, among others, that Unity Mining is now seeking to have overturned.

This proposed “modification” has resulted in an enormous backlash from nearby residents and landowners along the length of the Deua River.

Let us just consider one of Mr Lever’s “positives” – “the improved road safety and reduced carbon footprint associated with over 2000 fewer loaded trucks per year moving through Braidwood en route to Parkes”.

On December 16 2014, Unity Mining provided an update to the Australian Securities Exchange about its recent exploration at its Booth’s Reward prospect in NSW which provided “strong encouragement for further drilling”.

The Booth’s Reward Mine, near Gundagai, just a hop, step and a jump really from Majors Creek.

The cost of establishing the whole processing plant at Majors Creek is in the order of $70 million.

It would be almost silly of Unity Mining to not use the Dargues Mine processing plant to process ore from other mines.

This is in spite of the fact that another Limit on Approval is not to “process or smelt any ore other than that extracted from the site”.

Processing of ore from other sites would also put added pressure on the tailings dam – more heavy metals, more toxic chemicals forever.

Well, not to worry.It is all very safe according to Mr Lever.

Anne Rault

Deua River Valley

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