Report examines old Mt Morgan mine
A PRIVATE report says the government program overseeing the abandoned mine at Mount Morgan is inadequate.
Meanwhile, a government spokesperson says an innovative solution was being sought for the Mount Morgan site that would give the mine a new life while ensuring the local environment, including the Dee River, was protected.
A report released this week by activist group Lock the Gate Alliance, Abandoned Mines in Queensland: Toxic Time-Bomb or Employment Opportunity, says the state's Abandoned Mine Lands Program was an ineffective "band-aid” solution.
In preparing the report, three Lock the Gate members inspected the Mount Morgan site in June.
They used a drone to view the site and its condition.
Two other abandoned mines were also used as case studies in the report and it said the current state program did not address long-term environmental impacts.
A spokesperson for the Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the Minister had asked the department to examine the document and report back to him.
"It is understood that Queensland invests more than any other state or territory into abandoned mine management,” the spokesperson said.
They also said that out of more than 15,000 abandoned sites in Queensland, including historic mineshafts or tunnels, priority was given to those that posed a potential community safety or environmental risk.
The spokesperson also said an innovative solution was being sought for the Mount Morgan site.
"Carbine Resources has a contract with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines to treat water in the mine pit, and is working towards re-processing tailings,” they said.
The Lock the Gate report said if 30 high-risk abandoned mine sites were remediated at any one time continuously over 25 years, 6000 new jobs would be created.
It recommended an independent authority replace the Abandoned Mine Lands Program to establish a new approach to rehabilitating abandoned mines.
It also recommended the program be funded by a mining industry levy or from the interest on a new cash bond deposit system to replace the current mine rehabilitation financial assurance system.
- ARM NEWSDESK