Magellan lead levels safe in latest tests

 The latest lead tests at the Leonora rail yard have found no traces above accepted standards.

Environment minister Bill Marmion announced that while sampling along Magellan Metals’ lead transport route had detected trace amounts, these levels were three times below that accepted environmental standard at industrial sites, according to The West.

The trace amount was detected in one of hundreds of samples.

Magellan is carrying out testing following a series of incidents in which lead was detected outside of sealed bags and was also found along the transport route.

The miner was ordered by the EPA to carry out increased testing and reporting, and is likely to see tougher conditions at the mine.

Its Wiluna operations have been on care and maintenance since April.

However, the company and the West Australian government believe there is no evidence that any lead that would pose a danger to the public has escaped.

Marmion added that as the mine has been shut since April, the latest lead samples detected are "likely to reflect historical issues".

The miner is continuing to carry out testing along its transport routes, as required under its latest management plan.

The existing transport ban is still in place.

According to a spokesperson from Magellan, the sample was taken from an area where its kibbles were held for transport between 2005 and 2007, before it began to use sealed bags for lead transportation.

"The sample is below the levels that would normally even trigger a contaminated sites investigation," he told The West.

"This is one soil sample out of hundreds."

According to Magellan, once it receives the final operating conditions from the WA environment minister it will be able to provide guidance for restarting its halted operations; however the miner is as yet unsure whether it will have enough capital to restart the mine once a decision is made.


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