'Digging up dirt on mine
The NSW Minister for Finance, Greg Pearce, may have inadvertently rung an enormous bell for Clarence Valley residents with comments about the Hillgrove antimony mine, east of Armidale.
Mr Pearce, who represents the environment minister in the Upper hgouse, was asked by Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham what the government was doing to ensure a proposed antimony mine at Wild cattle Creek did not pollute the Nymboida River.
Mr Buckingham said there was evidence of contamination from the Hillgrove mine and wanted to know what was being done to prevent contamination of the Nymboida or further contamination of the Macleay from the existing pollution.
Mr Pearce initially shrugged off the question, suggesting he did not understand what Mr Buckingham was asking. But later returned and said, "The Office of Environment and Heritage was notified that stormwater was overflowing from a dam at the Hillgrove mine, east of Armidale, at 11.45 am on Monday, August 29, 2011. The mine is currently not operating but is in a care-and-maintenance mode. The spill occurred after continued wet weather produced excess stormwater which exceeded the amount of water that could be stored in the dam."
"I am advised that historic mining from more than a 100 years ago and erosion of highly mineralised soils have deposited a heavy plume of material containing heavy metals in the river system from the Hillgrove area to the Pacific Ocean, an area of approximately 200 km. That is quite a plume. I am further advised that the plume will continue to release elevated levels of heavy metals through physical, biological and chemical processes for millenia."
Mr Pearce, we want absolute guarantees there will be no leaching of toxins into the Nymboida and subsequently the Clarence, and if that mean no mining, so be it.'
Note the word 'millenia'. Should the residents along the Macleay River be drinking imported water? Will they be drinking bottled water in the year 3011?
Why is the National Party, as represented by Mr Luke Hartsuyker, in favour of the mine at Wild Cattle Creek?
The Daily Examiner also has an interesting story about Mr Cansdell latest appearance.