Lue village and its public school are located within three kilometres of the mine open-cut pit which involves highly toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and silver. The experience of other large open-cut mines is that this distance falls far short of sufficient distance to protect residents from the serious impacts of dust and noise. There is no other new open-cut lead mine is Australia that has been established in such close proximity to an existing community, and no other lead mine close to a community that is totally reliant upon water collected from roofs, and so exposed to the risk of toxic metal contamination.
Professor Noller, Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow for the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation of the University of Queensland expresses concern for drinking water contamination for a community totally reliant upon rainwater collection. Metals and arsenic may impact on the drinking water supply via dust dispersion and solubilisation in rainwater tanks via dust dissolution. Therefore there is a high risk of existing rainwater tanks for drinking water supply becoming unsafe due to metal and metalloid contamination.