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State Significant Development


Bowdens Silver

Mid-Western Regional

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Development of an open cut silver mine and associated infrastructure. Link to Independent Planning Commission's page for the Project

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (2)

Request for SEARs (2)

SEARs (3)

EIS (25)

Response to Submissions (14)

Agency Advice (42)

Amendments (18)

Additional Information (32)

Recommendation (2)

Determination (3)

Approved Documents

There are no post approval documents available

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.


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Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.


Showing 1 - 20 of 2314 submissions
Ibbai Waggan
Nguranbang , New South Wales
See Attached
Caerleon Mudgee
CREMORNE , New South Wales
To Whom It May Concern,

As a Director of the Trustee for Caerleon Mudgee Trust, the landowner of Caerleon Estate in Mudgee, I can confirm that we are proud supporters of the town of Mudgee and its future growth, driven primarily by the construction and growth of nearby mines. The opportunity to continue this growth through the approval of the Bowdens Silver Project, with the support of the town’s local council, Mid-Western Regional Council, is a huge boost for the area and something many country towns can only dream of as they face declining populations, increasing unemployment and rising socio-economic problems.

Personally, Mudgee has been a big part of my family since the early 2000’s. Over the years my brother has been married in Mudgee, my family has spent many weekends in and around the town and made many trips to the incredible wineries around the area and in 2011 we started the process of identifying and then securing a large parcel of land within Mudgee which we have since rezoned to allow for the future housing supply of the town. In fact, over the next decade we hope to deliver over 2000 new homes – from standard residential houses through to rural-residential homesteads – within our Estate.

The existing mines located 25 to 45 minutes from Mudgee have proven over the years to work hand in glove with the town and its community. The mines have been successful in providing a large number of jobs to the local workforce, increasing the population by bringing outside workers and their families to the town and giving back to the community with grants and sponsorship. The opportunity to have another mine operating in the Mudgee area is something that should be embraced with both hands by the town. It will create further employment opportunities, increase the town’s population which in turn will create further employment opportunities, and increase the economic standing of the town immeasurably.

While it is obvious that a new mine will help with the continued success of Caerleon Estate as more people to the town will mean more houses are needed, the multiplier effect of an increased population with more jobs will have a huge benefit to the town as a whole. As regional areas and country towns around NSW and in fact, all of Australia, face economic hardship as populations decline, young people move away and socio-economic problems start to rise, not decline, Mudgee has an incredible opportunity to buck the trend with the approval of the Bowdens Silver Project. This new mine presents the town with the chance to continue to grow and get stronger – creating more jobs for the current population plus the future residents that are attracted to the Mudgee area. Based on research that says one mining job creates 2 or more new jobs in sub/supporting industries, the approval of this mine stands to benefit even those that don’t work in the mining industry within the township. More people in town means you will see more people employed at places like restaurants and cafes, more retail shops, more cars sold and more people in general shopping and being employed by local businesses to keep up with the increase in demand a growing population creates. All these things are a huge boost for the local economy and an incredible opportunity for the town of Mudgee and its people.

It is for this reason I am formally writing to you to support the Bowdens Silver Project on behalf of Caerleon Mudgee Pty Ltd ATF Caerleon Mudgee Trust.

Yours sincerely,
Nathan Davis
Director – Caerleon Mudgee Pty Ltd
Carla Anderson
PYANGLE , New South Wales
We are very against Bowdens silver mine going ahead. We have a young family & we brought Our property in the hopes it would be our forever home 9years ago. We already hear noises from this mine during the day when machines are in use & we also see dust coming out from that area. We love the tranquility & beautiful country that is lue so for this mine to go ahead would be so devastating for us & the lue community. The harmful effects of the amount of lead that we will be exposed to is terrifying for our little family. We are less then 2kms from the mine sight & there’s no way we will be able to stay on our property if this mine goes ahead.
Name Withheld
RYLSTONE , New South Wales
I object to the proposed Bowdens Silver mining on the grounds that 1. It will not bring significant employment to the surrounding community. 2. It is not inline with the identity of the surrounding community. This is a quiet rural setting with agriculture being the main source of income. The land in our community is best suited to growing crops and live stock. The richness of the surrounding soil needs to be enhanced not depleted. 2. Local small business will be negatively impacted. The surrounding small business rely heavily on passing traffic and holidaymakers as a source of income. Travellers primarily come to our region to relax in our natural surroundings, escape the industry of the city and give a little back to their rural communities. A mine in our area/industy will make the option of visiting our community less appealing to holiday makers. 3. I came to this community from Sydney because of health reasons. I was diagnosed with a life threatening illness and after receiving life saving treatment decided to continue my healing process in nature. I believe my illness was not helped by the secondary pollutants created by the industry I was surrounded by. Toxicity from runoff in the waterways, air pollution, micro toxins in the food I consumed are example of pollution from industry that over extended periods of time has been proven to impact negatively on the health of not only adults but children and babies (transferred through breast milk). I do not want this for myself or for my surrounding community. 4. The size and the scale of this proposed project is too big for the infrastructure of the small rural communities to take on. I do not want to expand to meet the needs of this proposed mine. I do not want major roads designed and created to 'allow' trucks, carrying unknown materials, to snake around our small villages, even if it is at times considered acceptable. This will alter significantly the character and ethos of our town. I do not want the land, rich in minerals and life, to be depleted and the produce shipped overseas for the benefit of countries outside of my own. I do not want the habitat within this large body of land to be strategically removed. I do not believe, when they have finished removing the silver and lead they are mining, that the by product they then use as land fill, and scattering of local fauna, will return this large expanse of land back to it's original level of abundance. 5. The level of toxic by product is not acceptable to me. Silver mining is one of the most expensive and invasive forms of mining. I know that a by product of this process is Lead. It is firmly established that Lead is a highly toxic metal and even when all measures are taken there are no guarantees of zero contamination. Any level of Lead contamination is not acceptable due to it's highly toxic nature. 6. It is a very rare thing to be surrounded primarily only by the sounds of nature. I value this and object to the proposed mine because the removal of nature from such a large area to house the mine AND the sound generated by the function of the mine itself, not to mention the earth movement and vibration, may be kept at a very minimum, but is just not wanted at any level. Thank you for considering my objections to this proposed mine.
Name Withheld
HORSFIELD BAY , New South Wales
I think the mine will be a great boost for Australias economy and will be positive for the nearby town of Mudgee
harry white
mudgee , New South Wales
Hi, My name is Harry white,
I thank you for the opportunity to be heard, i am writing to you to voice my opion AGAINST the proposed BOWDENS SILVER MINE
To give an insight into who i am:
I am 28 years old and run a beef cattle operation with my brother jack here at Havilah North, 7 KM west of the village of Lue
both jack and i live on the property with our respective partners and as of 2 days ago jack and wife susie have a baby boy.
Earlier this year jack and i purchased our fathers property known as Havilah North, this makes us the 6th generation of whites to farm here.
I tell you this because i would like that to continue for along as it has already run.
The prospect of a insufficient water, brought about by excessive use at Bowdens is one that i find very hard to handle. Having just come through the worst drought on record, i have seen the water table at its lowest, we are situated on the lawson creek, as is bowdens,
the creek is our life line
as it is for many others up and down stream
to take 5 mega litres of water from that catchment everyday i feel is determental to my operation
I am aware that a tailings dam will be put in to store the sludge that is the remnants of the silver/lead washing process,
I am aware that this slugde is toxic
i am aware that these type of dams require life long maintenance, as there have been cases of them leaking and spreading toxic waste into natural waterways
causing countless damage to those down stream
Who will maintain this dam, who will see to it that no damage is ever to come from the toxic waste created by washing and processing lead and silver on site at bowdens silver mine?
i ask one more question on water,
there is a proposition to bring 15% of water required from Ullan or Moolarben Coal mines through pipe to the site at Lue
As a recently acquired land holder i am very aware of my property location and it would seem that it is situated in the most direct route for this proposed pipe line?
why have i not been informed personally?
What are the plans for the pipe line?
will it go through my property? No it will not.
What i need is more clarity on this and the above matters, it is all a bit of a mystery to me, and it causes a great deal of angst
that on top of running a considerable business i do not need.
Thank you again for the opportunity to speak
kind regards
Harry White
Name Withheld
SPRINGFIELD , New South Wales
I feel this would be very good for the people of Mudgee and surrounding districts
Name Withheld
TOTNES VALLEY , New South Wales
Thank you for allowing me to object to the Bowdens Silver Project...i have kept my notes as brief as possible..

whilst a submission doesnt consider economics, its worth bearing in mind that a marginal project like this runs the risk of being abandoned during its life, resulting in an abandoned ruin that isnt rehabbed, or maintained.The risk then, is a mine that has detrimental effects on the local environment, a tailings dam left to nature, and likely, no funds available to rehabilitate.
As for job creation, most construction work and operations do not create as many new jobs as is projected..., they are allocated to contracting firms with existing staff. The benefits are usually short term in nature...i do concur that employment is created, especially in admin and smaller maintenance areas, however, the number of new jobs would be contentious, and projections therefore, somewhat misleading.

Of concern is the proposal to pipe water from the coal mines near Ulan..these mines are compelled to return water to the Goulburn river catchment, which has major agricultural use. Surely it is wrong to transfer water from an important catchment, and transfer it to a mining operation, where the water cannot be re-released to a catchment system. The reduced flow to the Goulburn river system would be of detriment to agricultural and domestic users along the Goulburn and Upper Hunter catchments.
Bowdens, i believe has grossly understated the negative effect that water drawdown will have on Lawsons Creek. As per attachment, Bowdens have not studied the flow but used a generic flow model... I have estimated that normal flows for the last 2 years would only be up to 20lt per second (1.7ml/day).. a .5ml drawdown is significantly more than a 2.5% reduction and would have a devastating effect on the creek, which has suffered reduced flows over the last 10 years, and for the last 2, has been basically dry. My estimated flow is based on recent rainfall, and a return to somewhat normal conditions.

Tailings dam...

There is a high risk in having a tailings dam on a creek catchment, bearing in mind, Lawsons Creek has a predominant agricultural use, and, 30km downstream, is Mudgee, which derives some of its water supply from wellfields that draw from aquifers fed by Lawsons Creek, as well as the Cudgegong river....these borefields are in close proximity to Lawsons Creek......any major leak, or worse, catastrophic failure of the tailings dam would have a devasting effect on the above uses of the creek, the catchment of which, also supplies water to the Macquarie catchment. Any release of toxic materials would have a long term, possibly permanent effect on those uses, let alone the environmental damage.

Noise, light, dust.....

the mine proposal is only 2km from a long established village,with around 200 people in the village area alone, it is large enough to have a well attended primary school. I consider it reasonable to suggest such a close location would produce noise levels that would have an effect on village life. Initially the mine proposes to operate during daylight hours, but given its marginal economics, it is well understood that they intend to push for 24 hour operation as quickly as possible. Light pollution then, would come into consideration, particularly on overcast or cloudy weather, when light and noise would be reflected outwards. I believe the noise from continuous production drilling, as well as dump truck operations would far exceed the limits of what could considered acceptable, or comfortable...In addition, should the project proceed, and go to 24hr operation, the effect of noise would be of great detriment to normal life of the residents in the surrounding area.
Dust.... many people are concerned about dust, with a particular concern to any lead that may be present in the dust. Also of concern is the fact that the orebody (and waste rock) is a volcanic rhyolite, known to be high in silica, the injestion by the lungs causing silicosis. I understand that mining projects have dust suppression systems in place, but it is well known that dust regularly leaves mine sites for various reasons and cannot be controlled, (blasting being a prime reason).....there can be no "acceptable " level of dust release when it contains both lead and silica in fine particles....
David menchin
MUDGEE , New South Wales
This is a project that will provide work for hundreds of people in the local community and is a great alternative to digging up fossil fuels and the massive degradation that comes with it.
I support this proposal and I am a land owner of a block of ground on the Ulan Road of which the proposed water pipeline will pass through. Although my holding is only a small acreage it is still a working farm. In my opinion the pipeline will be of very little impact to the ongoing farming practices that I engage in.
There is also intention by the Bowdens group to make water available to relevant Bush fire groups such as Cooks Gap rural fire brigade that fall along the path of the proposed pipeline route.
I understand that other land owners will object to this proposal but once this pipeline is in the ground for 99.9% of the time it will raise absolutely no interest to the land owners that will originally object to the mine in my opinion.
During this difficult time in Australia we need to support these type of non fossil fuel developments that support the local area for infrastructure and employment.
Yours David Menchin
Joan Goldsmith
BUDDINA , Queensland
I am Joan Goldsmith ND and grandmother to young adults living in the Lue area and future grandchildren
I oppose the Bowdens Silver Project for health reasons especially for all children living in Lue and surrounding areas. The dangers of lead dust is well documented and I have attached a report by Environmental Health and the reports states there is no safe level of Lead for children
Lue school is 2 km away from the mine and Lue village is also only 2 km away
I find this application to build a open cut mine, close to a village and IN a tourist area , be out of step with the environmental conditions we expect in 2020
Yours faithfully
Joan Goldsmith ND
Name Withheld
CAMBOON , New South Wales
I wish to raise my objections with regard to any permissions that may be planned to give Bowdens access to open their Silver Mine.

1. During the latter time the Kandos Cement works were in business the Truck Drivers using the Lue Road made it a dangerous place to travel. They drove large vehicles like maniacs and I see no reason why Bowdens Sub Contractors will not do the same.
2. Desecration of Prime Farmland is a definite and I am sure that no explanation is required from me at this time.
3. Jobs! This is a catch cry of a couple of local businesses who seem to think that more people in Rylstone will make them, the businesses, rich. In fact house rentals will rise and houses will be built to start a Rylstone Sprawl. Overpaid, Hi Vis, blockheads will make their presence unwieldly and drive locals crazy as well as dissuading our much loved tourists.
4. Is the rumor true that Bowdens employ a Mid-Western Council Member, as part of their Public Relations team? If this is correct would it not be a matter for the ICAC?
5. If #4 is ignored without investigation would that in itself be a matter for the ICAC?
Lisa Tubnor
Lue , New South Wales
Due to the significant emotional, physical and environmental this project will have on our community, I object to it proceeding. I have attached a document detailing further, my reasons to support my objection.
Leonie Armstrong
RYLSTONE , New South Wales
I used to work at the cement works in Kandos until it shut. I struggled for full time work for a few years after that. My family has been in the area for over 50 years. I have 2 teenage sons looking for work. We need industry in the area to provide employment, training and apprenticeships in industrial fields and support for local businesses.
Sonya Semple
KANDOS , New South Wales
I wish to voice my support for the Bowdens Silver Mine. Our small communities have taken quite a hit in the last couple of years with the loss of industry in the area. With the loss of jobs and no prospects a lot of families were forced to leave the area to find work. This has forced a lot of small business to close there doors. Along with the drought and now covid 19 our community has been struggling to stay alive. The Silver mine will give much needed employment opportunities as well as injecting money into our towns local business's, the prospect of families moving back to area helps school, preschool, sports, hospital, real estate and keeps our towns from turning into a ghost town. I hope that this project goes ahead and gives my children some hope for the future.
Thank you S Semple
Name Withheld
RYLSTONE , New South Wales
I fully support this project. It will create employment in a region hard hit by industry closures. Bowdens Silver has listened to the local community and have presented a balanced submission that has taken into consideration environment and economical concerns. They have already supported many organisations in the community, that without their evolvement would have not survived. Our towns needs this to be approved to help with our survival.
Name Withheld
RYLSTONE , New South Wales
I support Bowdens Silver project 100%.
I have witnessed the devastation that covid, bush fires, drought and unemployment has caused to my community. We need this project to get approval and start as soon as possible. I have read the EIS and honestly believe all impacts on the community have been addressed. I have also witnessed the actions of a few who are opposed and the lengths they will go to to stop a vital project for our region. Bowdens have already proved that they listen the community and support us through sponsorship and educational assistance. They will provide us with much needed employment. Please approve this project.
Lesley Robertson
MUDGEE , New South Wales
My name is Lesley Robertson and I have been a resident of Mudgee for the past 30 years. I am opposed to the Bowdens Silver Mine Project for the following reasons:
The town of Lue is just 2 kms from the proposed silver and lead mine and this would be disastrous for the residents of the town and also the residents of Mudgee who would have to endure extra trucks through the town.
The problems I have are the increased noise from blasting and mine operations, increased dust, increased traffic along the Lue road and the streets of Mudgee, the visual impact that the mine will have on the environment, the effects it will have on the local fauna and flora, and the potential impact on the water quality in Lawson Creek and the Cudgegong River which is part of the Murray Darling River Catchment.
Please consider the negative affects of this Mine and allow the land to continue to be used for agricultural projects.
To allow this mine to go ahead would be a disaster.
LUE , New South Wales
My name is David Chandler and I wish to lodge an objection to the Bowdens Project number 9641 which has lodged an environmental impact statement with you. I have been a resident at the above address for approximately 40 years.
The proposed mine will expose the community to lead and it will have a deleterious effect on water in the area.
There is no safe level of lead for children and this mine is located approximately 2 km from the Lue school and township. The risk to the township and nearby rural properties is unacceptable, drinking water is collected from roofs and lead containing dust will contaminate other surfaces leading to increased lead ingestion. This is a high wind velocity area and I do not believe dust mitigation by the proposed mine would stop this contamination. This type of mine should be located far from populated areas. It is immoral to allow this type of development which would lead to people leaving the area. Local families would be mad to send there children to a school that is next to a lead mine. The processing plant will be onsite and not only would it produce noise pollution 24 hours a day seven days a week but it would use toxic chemicals, including cyanide. All toxic by-products are planned to be stored on site indefinitely.
The open cut nature of the mine would expose large amounts of sulphides which on exposure to air and water can convert to sulphuric acid. There would be a tailings dam and hills of overburden as well as a large pit gradually filling with water. These three areas will be loaded with toxic chemicals and I consider there is a high risk of failure where the toxins would be released into the waterways. There have been recent failures of tailings dams run by experienced miners, this applicant has never developed a mine fully and would be expected to sell on the development most likely to an overseas company with little regard for our environment, their lack of experience and the uncertainty of who would be running this highly dangerous and toxic project is another reason for it not to receive approval.
The proposal is for the mine to use collected ground water, subterranean water and dirty water piped from Ulan mine. The proposal concerning water uses extensive jargon and quotes opinions that seem very risky. It is agreed that this project would result in lowering of the water table, this alone is unfair to local farmers who have been dependent on this water. The open cut will cut across water tables and steal water from other users, there is also the risk of contamination of the water. Also whatever impurities are in the dirty water from the Ulan mine will stay on the Bowdens site forever or until it leaks out.
I have a lot more objections to this mine and would be prepared to expand on this objection if necessary.
This proposal is immoral and shortsighted the toxic chemicals and damage to the environment would be permanent and gives no consideration to future generations.
Christine COONEY
SYDNEY , New South Wales
I strongly object to the proposed Bowden’s Silver Project. There are several issues that are very disturbing for the township of Lue. The fact that the proposed mine is only 2 km from the school and township impacts on the local community and especially the children. Lead contamination can have serious health impacts on the development of childrens’ brains. This is an area of huge concern and children are particularly vulnerable to toxins. Drinking water will be contaminated, as will the farm drinking water
The environmental impact of this project on the flora and fauna in this area is immense. This project is located in the koala and regent Honeyeater habitat, so inevitably the habitat will be destroyed.
Another serious impact of this proposed mine that I object to strongly is the contamination of the waterways. Chemicals, cyanide and sulphites used in open cut mining will contaminate the water and cause serious local and downstream pollution.
Noise pollution is another concern as the extraction plant will run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This mine is just 2 km from Lue village. You wouldn’t want to be a resident there as they will be impacted by noise pollution.
The transportation of ore through the streets of Lue and Mudgee , and past Mudgee school is also a concern for these township.
This proposed development puts the financial benefits ahead of the health of the community of Lue and especially the future generations that live in this area. As a visitor to this township I strongly object to this development proceeding.
jane pye
WALGETT , New South Wales
I have 2 main objections to the proposed Bowden Silver mine at Lue. Firstly as a frequent tourist & lover of the exceptional vineyards & hospitality venues in the Mudgee area, I think this mine will prove to be detrimental overall. There will be an overall increase in traffic, toxic lead dust & noise and the village of Lue will become essentially uninhabitable. The development may boost employment in the area but won’t boost the “serenity”. I think Bowden’s mine will have a negative long term effect on jobs as people like me will choose to go somewhere less industrial. Isn’t there enough mining in Mudgee already? Secondly I object to the destruction of Australia’s Indigenous heritage at the mine site. The Lue environs (from looee - chain of billabongs) will be heavily concentrated with scarred trees and other culturally modified and translocated flora. Farming in the area helps preserve indigenous heritage by protecting the trees from the infernos seen frequently in our National parks. To say early European settlement has degraded the Indigenous values in the area therefor inserting a dirty great mine is somehow excusable is manipulative mining company spin. There are always CMTs at reliable waterholes just like the campfire & canoe scars in the park at Mudgee along the Cudgegong river. There is so little paleo biological knowledge about CMTs that they are easily over looked by white traditionally trained archaeologists and 20 % of the proposed site hasn’t been assessed at all. Give the townspeople, landholders & traditional owners a proper voice in their future, as well as protecting their past. Thanks for listening, Jane Pye


Project Details

Application Number
EPBC ID Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Minerals Mining
Local Government Areas
Mid-Western Regional
Determination Date

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