Magellan Metals have announced that it is again halting operations at Wiluna after finding lead outside of shipped bags.
Residual lead was found following isotopic testing on samples of dried mud from the bottom of shipping containers transporting materials from the Wiluna mine to the Port of Fremantle.
According to the company, the results showed a high probability that some or all of the lead is from Magellan’s mines.
It immediately halted operations and contacted the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
This discovery comes after the miner only just began transporting lead again after a contamination scare caused by lead samples found on the outside of sealed bags in closed shipping containers.
The miner shut down operations and ceased all transportation from the site until given the all clear by the EPA.
It then faced further strife after the trains carrying the sealed shipping containers deviated from the prescribed transportation route, raising concerns over lead contamination.
Magellan stated that there is no risk to public safety nor a breakdown in washing and inspection procedures for shipping containers leaving the site.
It explained that “during the transport process, shipping containers rest on the ground both at the Magellan minesite and at the rail yard at Leonora; recent heavy rainfall events have produced wet ground conditions at these sites, and they are considered the likely source of mud on the container.
“The result does not confirm whether the mud came from the minesite or the rail yard at Leonora.”
The miner has begun the clean up of all potential lead bearing mud on the containers and in the mean time voluntarily stopped transport of lead concentrate from the site while it undertakes an end-to-end review of all its activities.
It has also begun an investigation into the source and extent of lead bearing mud.