At the successful 2013 Pro-Ag event at Macksville over the weekend, local group Lock the Nambucca Valley (LNV) spoke with hundreds of concerned farmers, land holders and community residents about the impact of current and proposed mining projects on the Mid North Coast.
Despite no antimony exploration activity in the valley yet, Lock the Nambucca Valley (LNV) members have been very busy strengthening the organisation and preparing for Precious Metal Resources (PMR) to commence exploration under its two year licence.
Raising community awareness especially landowners and residents within the 330 square km upper catchment area exploration area is the focus. More and more people now understand about the threat of antimony mining activities to property rights, lifestyles, clean soil and water and damage to our already failing roads and bridges from mining vehicles. We know that local economies do not benefit from industrial scale antimony mining in water catchments.
More information available on this website.
We are a group of local residents opposing destructive mining activities in the Nambucca Valley
Antimony (Sb) is an element similar to arsenic that forms anions in surface waters, rather than cations like other metals. Little is known about natural mobility of antimony in the environment. However, recent studies have suggested that antimony has similar toxicity to arsenic.
Both the Nambucca and Macleay Valley communities know all too well the serious environmental consequences of Antimony and Gold Mining.
Urunga Lagoon – a toxic legacy
A previous antimony ore processing plant at Urunga Lagoon has been described in the Bellingen Council 2009-10 State of the Environment Report as “seriously contaminated and unable to be rehabilitated”. Government Departments are debating where to take 32,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil from the site. A local council tip is the favoured option. We do not want such a toxic legacy left to leach into the Nambucca River.
Hillgrove and the legacy of Antimony mining
The Hillgrove Mineral Field was one of the major goldfields in New South Wales. Gold mining commenced in Bakers Creek Gorge in 1877 and at its peak in 1898, the population of Hillgrove was approximately 4,000. The major gold production phase was the last decade of the 1800’s. Modern operations commenced in 1969 with the re-opening of several old workings and construction of antimony concentrate production facilities.
Production from nine separate deposits provided mill feed to the concentrator over the ensuing 30 years with the principal operator being New England Antimony Mines NL (NEAM). The last recorded production of gold and antimony concentrate by NEAM in 2001 sourced mill feed from the Metz and Brackins Spur underground mines. The Project was acquired by Straits from Antimony Resources Australia in April 2004.