Bowden's Silver, Lue Action Group hold separate information days less than one kilometre apart - Mudgee Guardian 21st June 2019
The Bowden's Silver Mine Open Day was held on Saturday, while a kilometre down the road the Lue Action Group met to discuss the issues they have with they have with the proposed project.
The Environmental Impact Statement is currently being completed, after the Feasibility Study released last year demonstrated a robust silver mine development.
The LAG information session highlighted their concerns with the proximity of the open-cut project to the village, mainly due to the lead dust that's expected to be emitted and its cumulative effects on health.
They cited the 2013 Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee Report on 'Impacts of health of air quality in Australia', which recommended "buffer zones are recommended to protect populated areas from large point-source emitters".
And pointed to the 2012 report on a mine at the potential effects of a proposed lead/silver mine at Lue by Professor Barry Noller, of the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, University of Queensland. Which recommended a 5km buffer zone "based on the predicted distance fine particles of concentrate will travel (the worst case material) allowing for a factor of two for safety (or more)".
Chair of the Lue Action Group, Tom Coombes, said, "there's no buffer, from the centre of the pit to the centre of the village of Lue is 2.5km".
"Wilpinjong mine is further from Wollar than what Bowden's will be from Lue, and people were driven out of there just by the noise," he said. "So if you take the environment concerns about this mine and add them to proximity, you've got to ask is it worth the risk?"
Project managing director Tony McClure said that the noise, air quality and health risk assessments - including lead - are being prepared independently and in accordance with all Government regulations. And that the work done to date and preliminary outcomes of these assessments were presented on Saturday.
"The results show that almost no exceedances of any of the impact assessment criteria are predicted at any private residence including no exceedances at any housing or any other buildings in the Lue village," he said.
"According to the independent assessment to date, lead is not an issue.
"Full dust mitigation measures throughout the project such as an encapsulated processing plant will be installed. In addition, the Lue village is well protected by a ridge line which provides a natural barrier for noise and dust.
"Importantly, over the life of the operation, no part of the mine, the processing plant or other infrastructure will ever be seen from the Lue village."