Submission for: Bowdens Silver
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.
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....