Unity Mining drops proposal to use cyanide at Dargues Reef underground mine

8 September 2015 (Last Updated September 8th, 2015 18:30)

Australia-based gold miner Unity Mining has dropped its proposal to use cyanide at its Dargues Reef underground mine near Braidwood in southern New South Wales.

Australia-based gold miner Unity Mining has dropped its proposal to use cyanide at its Dargues Reef underground mine near Braidwood in southern New South Wales.

The company dropped its plan to use cyanide in gold mining after opposition from local councils, residents, and scientists.

Out of a total 400 public submissions that were made to the NSW Department of Planning, 84% opposed the proposal to use the toxic chemical.

Objections were raised by Eurobodalla Shire Council and scientists who believed that using cyanide may risk leakage of waste chemicals into drinking water.

"The company proposed to use cyanide in a small area of the process plant within the confines of dedicated tanks, which sit in deep concrete containment walls."

The mine is located 60km south-east of Canberra, 13km south of Braidwood and immediately north of the village of Majors Creek.

In July, the company proposed to use cyanide in a small area of the process plant within the confines of dedicated tanks, which sit in deep concrete containment walls.

According to the company, cyanide helps extract the gold from fine slurry of water and ground rock material, so is considered important in the extraction process.

Originally discovered in the early 1870's, the Dargues Reef represents the first new gold mine to be approved in NSW since Lake Cowal more than ten years ago.

The project will consist of an underground gold mine, a run-of-mine pad, temporary waste rock emplacement, crushing facility, gold processing plant, tailings storage facility, as well as associated infrastructure.