- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.



Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Possible transfer of contaminated soil from Urunga to Hillgrove Mine: Mayoral Media Release


MEDIA RELEASE – OFFICE OF THE MAYOR 14 January 2013
PUBLIC MEETING BELLBROOK – POSSIBLE TRANSFER CONTAMINATED SOIL FROM URUNGA TO HILLGROVE MINE 

Signage at Urunga site
Kempsey Shire Council’s Mayor and several councillors attended a meeting held in Bellbrook to discuss a possible transfer of contaminated soil from Urunga to the Hillgrove Mine near Armidale.  

The meeting was attended by around 60 people. Mayor Campbell said “The meeting was extremely well organised and facilitated.” The facilitator provided a 30 minute presentation on the fact around the possible transfer of waste and information on the background of the operations of the Hillgrove Mine. Following this the meeting was opened up to questions from those attending. 

“From what was presented at the meeting it was clear that there would be no benefits to the Kempsey Shire community’s from this proposal. All we would face is the potential risks of the contaminated fill entering our river system or being spilled in an accident in transit.” Said Mayor Campbell. 

With the Council not formally meeting until February, Mayor Campbell will now discuss the issue with councillors, with the view to requesting the State Government to take this option off the table. 

“It does not make sense to take this waste from one sensitive water environment and transfer it to another sensitive water environment.” She said. “The only options being considered should remove the potential for the waste to enter the water systems and the Hillgrove mine site does not do this. The material not only containing Antimony, but a range of other contaminates, all of which would then remain in our catchment” 

She noted that things can go wrong, pointing to combination of factors that led to a spill from the tailings of the Hillgrove Mine in 2009. “Things do happen, so it would be best if they deal with the waste in a way that takes the risks away, not transfers them.” 

Background Information:
  • $1.4million has been allocated to undertake remediation works at a previous Antimony processing site at Urunga.
  • The cleanup is being administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and Crown Lands as the owners of the site have gone into liquidation.
  • 32,000 cubic metres of contaminated waste has been identified on the site.
  • Options being considered are:
    o ContainmentOnsite
    o ContainmentOffsite:Transfertolandfillfacilityandcontained.
    o RemediationOffsite:Transfertolicensedfacilityforheavymetalprocessing.
    MEDIA INFORMATION
    Office of the Mayor 6566 3320

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