No concerns raised by community over new Peak project

It appears that any concerns that Cobar residents may have about what’s happening at Peak Gold Mine’s New Cobar Complex have been allayed if the attendance at their recent community information sessions are anything to go on.

Aurelia Metals is proposing to extend its current operations at Peak’s New Cobar Complex, located approximately 3km south east of the town, by developing new underground operations to include the Great Cobar and Gladstone deposits.

Proposed mining of the Great Cobar and Gladstone deposits will overlap with the later stages of mining at the mine’s currently approved New Cobar, Jubilee and Chesney deposits, extending operations at the New Cobar Complex by a further 12 years (from 2023 to 2035).

Due to the size, economic value and potential impacts associated with the new mining project it is classed as a State Significant Development and approval for the project is required under NSW State Environmental Planning Policy.

PGM has engaged an independent consulting firm, EMM Consulting, to undertake a range of technical studies as part of their environmental impact assessment.

EMM has carried out traffic, noise and vibration, risks to human health, geotechnical and subsidence, air quality, biodiversity, Aboriginal cultural heritage, historical heritage, ground and surface water, rehabilitation to the landscape, visual impacts, hazard, risk and public safety assessments.

Last week EMM and Aurelia Metals staff ran community information sessions at the Cobar Library to let the community know of their findings.

Only a small number of locals showed interest in learning the outcomes of the studies and provide feedback to EMM staff.

This is in direct contrast to the mine’s community sessions last year, when Peak received strong opposition from the community regarding the Great Cobar exploration decline project.

A number of residents had voiced their concerns about the construction of a vent rise  450m from town. In response to the negative feedback, planning for the project was revised and the mine found a way to relocate the exhaust vent rise 1km away from the town which appeased the concerned residents.

Questions by the public at last week’s EMM consultations were put forward about air quality, human health and vibrations and all modelling carried out by EMM has shown that the project will have negligible impact on the community.

The environmental impact statement for the project is expected to be submitted late January and go on public display in February, where the community will be invited to make a submission to say they support, are opposed, or are neutral to the project.

Aurelia Metal’s group environment manager Jonathon Thompson with an interested community member Brian Mickey and EMM Consulting’s acoustics manager Katie Teyhan at Peak’s New Cobar Complex Community Information Session at the Library.