Unity Mining pulls on-site cyanide plans

Unity Mining has pulled its application for cyanide processing of concentrate at its Dargues gold mine.

The plan had raised community fears about the proposal, with concerns the plant would be a pollution risk for food producers and the Eurobdalla Shire catchment area, with lead, cadmium, zinc, cyanide and dust the primary risks.

These concerns were heightened by the fact the miner had been fined three times in 2014 for environmental breaches.

Now the miner has decided to not go through with the on-site cyanide processing plan.

“The Company’s decision follows the completion of the public consultation and exhibition period for the proposed modification to the project plan and has been made in light of strong community and stakeholder objections, and the overly extended regulatory process and the onerous timeframes relating to such approvals,” Unity Mining said in a company statement.

“Unity has held discussions in recent days with the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment (“DPE”) to discuss and informally advise them of this decision.”

Unity Mining's Frank Terrannova  told Australian Mining the company is looking to other possible processing methods.

"We have a range of potential processing options that we are exploring," Terranova said.

"We have discarded the option of on-site processing using cyanide, following extensive feedback from the local community.

"We have listened to the community's views and decided that we need to find an alternative solution. That will most likely involve transporting ore or potentially a concentrate to an existing processing facility within the region, or potentially a new facility to be constructed within trucking distance, perhaps in conjunction with other projects. I don't want to nominate any specifically at this point, as we are still only in early discussions.

"The important point is that Unity is making changes to move the project forward."

The miner has also seen shake-ups in its management, with managing director Andrew McIlwain announcing his resignation from the company, effective from the end of the month.

Frank Terranova will step into the position as acting managing director until a new head is chosen.

"The former CEO Andrew McIlwain has done an excellent job over the past four years to get the company to this point," Terranova told Australian Mining.

"We have a very strong financial position, excellent projects and we are well placed to take advantage of opportunities that are presenting themselves in the market place. We are now putting in place a new team to reinvigorate the company and drive improved shareholder performance."

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