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Metal operation secures initial approval to reopen

Primary Gold
Primary Gold

An exploration company has been given the tentative green light to revive a shelved precious metal mine in Northern Australia.

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has approved Primary Gold’s environmental impact statement (EIS) for reopening the Toms Gully Underground Gold Mine, 103km southeast of Darwin.

“NT EPA considers that, subject to the implementation of the 18 recommendations in this assessment report and the commitments and safeguards listed by the proponent in the EIS, the proposal can be implemented and managed in a manner that is likely to meet the NT EPA’s objectives and avoid significant or unacceptable environmental impacts and risks,” NT EPA delegated member Janice van Reyk said in a public statement.

110 jobs

The project involves building a new 2.1 gigalitre water supply dam and also refurbishing the existing carbon in leach processing plant, water production bores, water monitoring bores, workshop and offices at the mine.

QMEB can reveal the $27 million operation is expected to produce 144,000 ounces of gold ore and create 110 jobs throughout its five-year lifespan. None of the jobs are advertised yet.

The mine previously operated on a brownfield site between the years 1988 and 2011. Since then it has been under care and maintenance.

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NT EPA confirmed the environmental assessment report has been forwarded to NT Environment and Natural Resources Minister Lauren Moss who will provide it to NT Primary Industry and Resources Minister Paul Kirby for final approval.

“NT EPA has recommended that the Mary River downstream from the proposal is to be protected at all times from mine related and legacy impacts, and that the proponent publicly report on the health of water and ecosystems in the river and its tributaries,” van Reyk said.

Click here to read the full EIS.

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