Fishing group raises concern over mine

THE Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT (AFANT) has raised concerns over pollution problems at an old gold mine near Katherine.

Mining company Vista Gold recently submitted an environmental impact statement into the possible re-opening of the Mount Todd mine.

“AFANT has real concerns with the proposed expansion of the Mt Todd mine site for the site to become an even bigger environmental issue and legacy into the future with potential to impact fish and fishing in the Edith/Daly River area.” Said AFANT President Warren de With.

“In our submission we have requested more details and commitments through the EIS process to guarantee the protection of the rivers downstream.”

“In a detailed examination of the draft EIS, AFANT has raised a number of concerns with the proposed development at the site including; increased risk of groundwater contamination, ongoing untreated water discharge from RP1 and other storages, lack of site plan detail in the EIS, increased environmental risk in the event of emergency shutdown and the supersizing of all mine assets on site without a similar increase in retention and water control structures.”

“The existing Mt Todd mine is an extremely large open cut gold mine but the proposed expansion will dwarf the current infrastructure and assets on site.”

“What is clear from the EIS documentation is that Acid Rock Drainage & Metal Leaching (ARD/ML) will be an ongoing issue at the site and potentially in the rivers downstream and this must be resolved.”

“AFANT is extremely concerned that Vista Gold has not adequately addressed in the Draft EIS the issues of controlled/uncontrolled discharge from RP1 during the proposed mine operation and it seems that the easy solution of a toxic water discharge is the preferred method of management during the large rain events which occur most wet seasons in this catchment.”

“One of the most important considerations for AFANT is to ensure the spectacular recreational fishing experiences in the Daly River and other rivers downstream of the mine site are not put at risk.”

“AFANT believes that significant questions still need to be answered through the EIS process on the management both during operation and after closure of Mt Todd mine site, to ensure confidence that measures will be in place to adequately protect the rivers downstream.” Mr de With said.

Read AFANT’s Mt Todd submission HERE.

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