A six week public submission period for Rex Minerals’ Hillside Mining Lease Proposal closed in early November 2013. Over 260 submissions were received from the public, which was an outstanding number. Links to some of the submissions are provided below together with key quotes from those submissions.
Outcomes of Statutory Consultation on Rex Minerals Hillside MLP
YP Land Owners Group Submission
- No baseline data including…. groundwater level fluctuations with time .. were apparently available to calibrate the [Groundwater] model ….[T]his is a serious omission.
- The groundwater modelling has failed to follow standard groundwater modelling guidelines. This is a serious procedural lapse for such a large, important and environmentally sensitive project.
- The confidence in modelling outcomes is compromised by …lack of justification for a number of modelling assumptions and little discussion of the implications of the project to the environment.
- The report does not address potential impacts to any groundwater dependent ecosystems in the zone of influence.
- …[T]he modellers ..have failed to articulate their outcomes to the extent required for the public and decision makers to have confidence in the work.
Conservation Council SA Submission
Professor Jochen Kaempf Submission
- The proponent’s claims that both [surface water run-off and dust deposition ] …are of minor consequences ..are pure speculations being void of any credible scientific evidence (page 4).
- The assessment of marine-related consequences presented as part of the proposal does not meet the required scientific standards and should be rejected (page 4).
- Continuous dust deposition and occasional flood-driven surface runoff of pollutants and sediments into the marine environment indeed pose an extremely high risk of severe environment damage, given the close vicinity of the mine operations to the sea.
- If this project goes ahead, substantial negative inferences between mining operations with the marine ecology at a large scale are unavoidable.
- [F]rom the conservation point of view and given the high likelihood of environmental damage to the upper Gulf St. Vincent ecosystem, ….this mining proposal [should] be rejected.
The DCYP is not prepared to support the development at this time as it considers that the proposal lacks sufficient information for the Council to be able to make a considered judgement of the application.
Dr Tony Milnes Submission
- The proposed rehabilitation strategy is minimal [and] inadequate in terms of the long-term stability of the post-mining landscape and espouses the outmoded view that ‘ backfilling the pit and properly rehabilitating the site may sterilise the resource for future operators..” (page 1).
- It “will leave the minesite in a similar condition to many small-scale, short-term, hard-rock base-metal mines throughout the country – that is, areas of major land disturbance and … (geomorphically) unstable waste rock landforms that encapsulate environmentally hazardous waste materials from the mining operation, together with pit ‘lakes’ containing contaminated waters. Compared with the pre-mining condition, these areas have no value to the community, ….and, commonly, require major sources of funding from the taxpayer to minimise the ongoing degradation and contain the contamination which can seriously affect downstream environments (page 4).
- This approach, he argues, “is unacceptable in this day and age” (page 4).
- … we remain uncertain about the project and not in a position to support the MLP in its current form (page 1).
- We lack confidence that the proponent has proposed adequate management measures that would ensure the benefits of the project really outweigh the potential negative impacts for our community (p. 3).
- …the specialist technical studies were, in the main, conducted on a project design that has now significantly changed (page 3 ).
- …we lack confidence that some of the modelling accurately represents what we know to be true of the local environment (page 5).
- …the economic basis on which the proposed project is deemed to be of benefit to the region and State requires further analysis… (page 5)
- ..the proposed mitigation measures will be encompassed in ‘management ‘ plans that have not yet been developed. How can a community consider the acceptability of [these] as part of the public consultation process if [they] are yet to be developed and disclosed? (p 8)
MP Steven Griffith’s Submission
- This submission is tendered as opposition to the proposed Hillside mining development by Rex Minerals (page 2).
- The objection to this Proposal is NOT to the concept of mining what natural resources there may be within South Australia, BUT to the location of open-cut mining within a region of intensive agriculture [with] a long established, successful, and ever improving …industry (page 2).
- To call this proposal “development” is to make mockery of the word since the activities of an open-cut mine, and the building of a mountain of overburden and impurities amongst an area of advanced, intensive, and world renowned grain production, will adversely affect the industry that is already thriving (page 2).
- The environmental implications of this mining project are impossible to ignore.
– Who is concerned about the environmental issues of pollution, dust, incursions onto neighbouring farming land, the biological life of healthy and productive soils that have been nurtured for generations and decades?
– Who is responsible and liable if traces of mining by-products are found in South Australia’s world class malting barley industry…?
– Why would any Government be so irresponsible as to forcibly replace land caretakers with the pillage and destruction of open-cut mining? (page 2).