Miner to resume lead exports

Rosslyn Hill Mining, formerly known as Magellan Metals, has been given the green light to resume lead exports after shutting down in 2011 due to environmental and health concerns.

In a statement today the WA Environmental Protection Agency said Rosslyn would resume operations in July under close watch from the regulator.


The company operates the Wiluna lead mine in the WA Goldfields and exports through Fremantle, WA's largest port.


It was forced to close its doors and shed 200 jobs in 2011 after lead carbonate was detected on the bottom of a shipping container.


Investigations later revealed the lead was naturally occurring or related to historic lead handling operations.


“No evidence suggested lead concentrate had escaped from the double lined bags within the locked shipping containers,” the EPA said.


While the lead was naturally occurring the investigation did reveal the company's monitoring and reporting systems were inadequate.


The EPA said a new set of “strict conditions” required the company to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Transport the lead carbonate in sealed, double laminated, water-proof and sieve-proof bags, inside sealed containers. The moisture content of the lead carbonate must be at least 7.5 per cent to limit dust generation
  • Engage an independent inspector at the Wiluna mine site to inspect all bags and shipping containers and make those reports available to the OEPA and Fremantle Ports community liaison group
  • Securely store containers and only top-lift to prevent damage
  • Continue undertaking comprehensive sampling for lead carbonate concentrate in soil, water and air along the transport route from Wiluna to Fremantle
  • Subject itself to increased independent third party scrutiny of its operations, including compliance and assurance audits of its environmental management program and detailed evaulation of samling and monitoring analysis methods
  • Have an emergency response plan and a $5 million bank guarantee if the plan is not implemented properly
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