EPO issued against mothballed QLD uranium mine

Uranium Mineral Ventures Incorporated has received an environmental protection order (EPO) to further safeguard against the release of contaminants from the non-operational Ben Lomond uranium mine.

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection issued the EPO on Friday after elevated levels of lead, uranium, and arsenic were detected both on and off the mining lease.

Environment minister Dr. Steven Miles said investigations and samplings by the EHP “identified that disturbed areas at the mine have the potential to release contaminants from the Ben Lomond site to the receiving environment”.

“It is important to note the elevated levels were measured both upstream and downstream of the mining project, indicating that there are natural influences on the water quality as well as potential influences from the mine,” he said.

Through the EPO the environment department wants to ensure the company puts necessary controls in place to prevent the release of contaminants from any of the mine’s disturbed areas.

In addition to the company’s normal monitoring obligations, the EPO requires Uranium Mineral Ventures to implement preventative measures over the next 12 months in the interests of the community and the surrounding environment.

Miles added that the EHP’s investigation did not find any evidence to suggest any risk to the public in relation to the readings.

The QLD government banned uranium mining in the state last year, with natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham saying exploration was allowed to continue.

The Ben Lomond site has been in care and maintenance since 1984.

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