Newcrest’s Cadia Valley Operations has reported taking action after it was ordered to comply with a number of environmental regulations relating to air quality by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Late last month, it was discovered that Cadia’s main vent was releasing an “unacceptable” amount of dust. Blood and water testing in the nearby area showed that residents had trace amounts of nickel, lead and selenium in their blood and rainwater. However, NSW Health reported that the water was safe to drink, with contaminants below the dangerous threshold.
In a letter to the EPA, Cadia management indicated that it had taken interim action in line with the EPA’s notice, including reducing dust production levels, installing additional dust and curtain sprays, installing filters, and reconfigured extraction systems.
The EPA added a number of new conditions to the mine’s environment license, including:
- Undertake vent emission monitoring regularly and provide a monthly report on dust discharge from one of its main vents
- Provide additional reports on lead dust fingerprinting research, analysis of dust impacts and sources, an independent health risk analysis, and an updated Air Quality Impact Assessment
- Undertake works to manage dust generation underground, in addition to conditions issued in April to manage the risk of dust from the tailings dam
- Provide monthly reports on works undertaken in relation to the dust suppression plan for the tailings dam that Cadia has implemented under the conditions issued in April.
The EPA is offering water testing for residential properties which are rainwater dependant, as part of a broader monitoring program.
The EPA is also considering its options for air quality monitoring.
Cadia’s owner, Newcrest, is set to be taken over by US gold giant Newmont after a $26.2 billion deal.