|Coffs Harbour Greens Cr Mark Graham|
Coffs-Clarence conservationists are calling for a ban on mining and exploration in the headwaters of the region's major rivers.
One company exploring for antimony on the Dorrigo Plateau, Anchor Mining, has already been fined over the impact of its activity on the Orara and Nymboida river catchments.
It is in relation to activity at the old Wild Cattle Creek mine near Bielsdown.
Coffs Harbour councillor and mining opponent Mark Graham says exploration exposed ore bodies containing toxic minerals like antimony, lead and mercury.
"There's been major damage to rainforest and contamination of the catchment," he said.
"Mining must be prohibited in sensitive catchment areas, particularly drinking water supply areas.
"We've already seen poor practice, we've seen the law being breached and fines being issued.
"The only way to protect the catchment is to prohibit mining and further exploration activities."
Cr Graham says the New South Wales Government will be lobbied to place a ban mining and exploration in the region's river catchments.
"There is huge community support for banning mining in the Orara and Nymboida catchments because of the drinking water supply," he said.
"That community support will translate into political will and pressure will be brought to bear upon the State Government to set no-go zones such as the Dorrigo Plateau."