Wiluna mine will not close permanently: Magellan Metals

The Wiluna mine in Western Australia will not be closing permanently,  according to the chief executive of the mine’s owner, Magellan Metals.

The mine, located about 1000 kilometres North East of Perth halted operations yesterday following the discovery of lead in mud stuck to the bottom of ones of its shipping containers at the Port of Fremantle.

It is the third breach of its environmental license in four months, but Magellan spokesman said the mine will not close permanently.

"No that’s not correct, because it’s a good resource and because we have a transport system that does work and there have been no public health issues, but obviously we can’t continue with on-going disruptions," he told the ABC.

"We need to ensure that we can avoid those and that’s what we’re doing in our investigation to addressing any other potential issues that we need to deal with."

He said the company will be re-examining its entire operations before recommencing lead shipments.

Kalgoorlie MP John Bowler said it would be disappointing if a permanent ban was places on Magellan Metals and an environmental analysis should be done prior to a decision being made on the future of Magellan.

"They’ve voluntarily closed down," he said.

"Let’s wait until we get the final analysis of what’s happened here and let’s hope that it doesn’t drag on too long, because there are a lot of people here whose jobs are at stake."

The 200 workers employed by the company have been forced to stop work repeatedly while environmental testing has been performed and Bowler said the last bout of testing has created uncertainty for workers regarding their future.

He argues a timeframe should be set on the latest round of testing to put the workers at ease and give them some certainty.

"The last time production closed down it closed down for far too long," he said.

"When you really looked at the levels of contamination it was really none, it was just the way that the recording was being done, yet people, particularly sub-contractors, were out of work."

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