Yet another heavy metal spill should end antimony mining plans

MEDIA RELEASE 29 November 2011

The Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has called for the government to rule out the re-opening of the Hillgrove antimony mine and also rule out plans for an antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek after another spill of heavy metals into the Macleay River occurred this week.

“Barry O’Farrell must act to protect the Macleay River now.  It is not acceptable that we’ve had a further spill of contaminated water into the Macleay River system,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The latest spill of toxic metals into the river is the fourth or fifth in the last few months and the first after the EPA had imposed new measures on October 12 to supposedly stop the spills.

The Hillgrove mine should be permanently shut down and containment and remediation of toxic elements such as arsenic and antimony should be prioritised.

“When will Environment Minister Robyn Parker act to stop the ongoing contamination of the Macleay River?

“The spills from the Hillgrove mine stand as a clear warning not to allow a new open cut antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek north of Dorrigo.

“The Wild Cattle Creek area received 185mm of rain in the past week.  To allow mining of toxic metals at the top of the Nymboida-Clarence catchment would be negligent and puts at risk the health of the Clarence River and the purity of Coffs Harbour’s drinking supply.

“The Greens are not against mining antimony, but the top of a catchment with such steep terrain and high rainfall is simply the wrong place.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

 

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