Costerfield case adjourned

CONCERNS: The Mandalay Resources mine at Costerfield. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

CONCERNS: The Mandalay Resources mine at Costerfield. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Residents band together after concern over antimony levels

A COSTERFIELD resident has filed a case against mining company Mandalay Resources over an alleged breach of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act. 

Neil Harris, who lives near the Costerfield mine, has taken action after high levels of toxic metal antimony was found at his and several neighbouring properties. 

An independent report by Golder Associates states that a "preliminary review of Mandalay dust deposition gauge data indicated that nuisance standards were exceeded on frequent occasions". 

This was particularly in areas with prevailing wind from the processing operations. 

Mr Harris will take the mining company to court over the matter, saying it has breached the Public Health and Wellbeing Act.

Section 63 of the act states that if a council does not, within a reasonable time of being notified of an alleged nuisance, investigate the matter, (it may) be taken to the Magistrates' Court. 

The matter was expected to be heard in court on Monday, but was adjourned until August 7.

Mr Harris joins fellow residents who fear their futures have been compromised as a result of the pollution. 

It follows recent health testing which detected antimony in 29 out of 30 local residents.

One woman, whose mother lives close to the Costerfield mine, says the matter had become concerning for all involved. 

We are grappling to know what to do. - Resident

"Some people are very angry and have made threats to the mine," she said. 

"Residents have held several meetings and we are thinking a government department might have to step in."

She said her mother had been told to avoid the outdoors, drink only bottled water and limit her intake of dust. 

"It's almost laughable," she said. 

"She has been trying to sell her house but can't. There are families that have young children who want to play outside but they can't. 

"It's gotten to a really bad stage out there.

"We are grappling to know what to do."

Resident Steve Blackey has also expressed his concern over the situation, saying it was now at a critical point, after the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation took months to take action. 

Following the recent report, DSDBI issued notices to Mandalay Resources to stop using ground-water on the roads for dust suppression, stop misting sprays on the evaporation ponds and review dust and ground-water management plans to minimise the impact on the environment.

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