Feb 07, 2019

State scrutiny for discharges at Capricorn Copper

State scrutiny for discharges at Capricorn Copper

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) plans to inspect the Capricorn Copper site in North-West Queensland after being alerted to recent discharges.

A DES spokesman said Queensland’s north-western interior had received above average rainfall and the Department had been advised of recent discharges from three locations at that mine site, about 130km north of Mount Isa.

“DES will undertake an inspection of the site to identify the nature of the discharges and any potential impact to downstream watercourses,” he said.

“DES will continue to closely monitor the site and engage with site operators as updates are received.”

The Capricorn Copper mine, formerly Mount Gordon, is located 125km north of Mount Isa.

It began producing in late 2017 after a restart under new owners
Lighthouse Minerals and EMR Capital, having been mothballed by former owners Aditya Birla in 2013.

There was a history of  environmental management issues at the site involving contaminated water and high-density sludge before the restart.

The DES also continues to closely monitor the Queensland Nickel Sales (QNS) refinery at Yabulu with the current rainfall in the region.

It said that QNS advised yesterday that its tailings storage facility dam still had capacity to receive more than 900mm of rainfall.

Pumps and generators are in place to move contaminated water between structures in order to maintain capacity throughout the event.

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