Old gold mine’s waste water flows into river


April 01, 2013 15:47:24

Treated waste water from the Mount Todd mine site near Katherine is being flushed into waterways because there has been enough rainfall to allow it, the owner says.

Vista Gold said the first controlled release from the Batman Pit, Retention Pond Three, happened early on Saturday morning, with about 0.25 gigalitres of treated water entering the Edith River.

A second release began last night and is still going.

General manager Brent Murdoch told the Country Hour it was an automated release of the treated water.

“Living up in the Territory, the rivers go up so quick and they come down so quick,” he said.

“Over the weekend, on Saturday morning, just after midnight, the water was high enough, and because it was an automated system it kicked in.”.

Last month, Vista Gold said its contaminated water treatment program appeared to be working.

It said 97 per cent of all toxic metals had been removed from the top 15 metres of water at the open-cut Batman Pit.

Vista Gold wants to get rid of contaminated water at the site so it can move ahead with plans to re-open the mine.

The NT Mines Department recently issued a waste water discharge licence so the company could release treated waste water into a creek feeding the nearby Edith River.

An uncontrolled spill of mine water happened in late February, sparking concerns among Katherine residents.

Mr Murdoch said the latest release was in line with the company’s discharge licence.

“We didn’t have any uncontrolled release of water through this event,” he said.

“There were extra pumps on site that we put into action very early and we had no failures of our existing infrastructure.”


First posted

April 01, 2013 13:15:51

Source Article from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-01/mount-todd-controlled-release/4603616

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