Fear for rivers if Cangai mine a reality
CONCERNS about the health of the Mann and Clarence rivers have been raised by community members following explorations by Castillo Copper at Cangai, near the historic copper mine.
Earlier this week, The Daily Examiner reported Castillo had found high-grade copper near the old mine.
"Assay results up to 10.25per cent copper, 6.04per cent zinc and 32.5grams per tonne silver from the first five drill holes are exceptional," Castillo Copper chairman Peter Meagher told Small Caps.
It's the high grade of the finding that has some community members concerned, with the prospect of a mine opening in the area becoming more likely.
At a meeting attended by about 20 people, NSW Parliament Greens candidate for the Clarence Greg Clancy and John Edwards from the Clarence Valley Environment Centre explained their concerns with mining so close to the river.
After having trouble getting in contact with Castillo through its website, Mr Edwards took his inquiries about the exploration to the mining regulator.
"I got an email from their managing director ... and he said they were just out there doing some investigation and it wasn't very much to worry about," he said.
But this has not eased his concerns about the future of the Clarence Valley's rivers.
"It would be good to get out there and see what they are actually doing," he said.
"They've been talking up their exploration finds to date ... maybe that is to just get investors' money, but it's certainly in a bad position where the river is and where all this siltation and run-off and toxic crap that runs off when they mine copper, silver...
"It's not going to be easy for them when they are at the top of a hill overlooking a river."
Mr Clancy said the group would need to get more information so they could understand exactly how the ore would be mined.
"There is loss of vegetation and threatened species on the hill. This is going to be an open cut mine ... and the water table may not be up there, but once they've got an open cut mine it will gather water and they have to use water in the process to get the minerals out.
"They will be creating their own artificial ponds and we would have to explore this further, but I know with (extracting) gold they use arsenic.
"There are a whole range of chemicals they could be using. Whatever projections they are supposed to use, they often don't work."
The group is planning to do more research and attempt to make contact with the company before they hold another meeting in one month's time at the Grafton library.