Tasmanian Times

Economy

Some heavy metal readings high in Rosebery soil results

Mining company MMG says soil sampling around Rosebery on Tasmania’s west coast has found elevated heavy metal levels in some parts of the town, but maintains the health risks are minimal.

MMG commissioned independent soil, water and dust testing at Rosebery in December last year, amid concerns that discharge from the mine had made some residents sick.

Only the soil results are in; the mine manager, John Lamb, says some of the 125 samples exceeded guidelines and warrant further testing, but it appears the heavy metals in the soil are not readily absorbed by the body.

“Which is a very positive result from the perspective of health risk,” he said.

Mr Lamb says the results are also consistent with previous work done by the Environment Protection Authority.

About 30 current and former residents have launched a group action against MMG, blaming discharge from the mine for making them sick.

Read more HERE

What the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce says, HERE

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Kay Seltitzas

    March 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Jen 1 Yes Jen, the area is very mineralised. No one is questioning or denying that fact. The toxins in extreme excedence of the HIL’s are pouring into my property continuously and ‘FILL” is not an issue in the case of three of the original properties that are heavily contaminated. Luckily for us Jen, Slater and Gordon do not ( nor do we ) share your pessimism in relation to proving culpability in these issues. It always surprises me that commenters make statements like ” we have not proved our case”. ( I am not referring to you) Does it not occur to anyone that we are still here after nearly two years, and that obviously our lawyers would nor have taken our case if we were without very strong evidence? The mine are not the only defendants in these issues Jen, and it will surprise you I think, when the truth comes out in a court of law. The biological and environmental results have been freely available for over twelve months to anyone who is interested. As we were prevented for a long time from making the truth of the story public knowledge, we are delighted to go to court and make the whole sad, frightening saga public knowledge at long last. We have been vilified and treated with contempt but we have fought back and only want the ugly truth to come out. Keep in mind Jen that we will never recover our health, that heavy metals ( especially in synergy) are devestating to the human body. We lost our homes, our stability, security and anonmymity-things most people take for granted as their right.

    Kay Seltitzas
    T.H.M.T.T.

  2. Red Bob

    March 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Re: 1. That’s a good point Jen.

    Re: 2. This testing is not the first and probably won’t be the last. The results mirror those of DHHS testing, which was done in response to the initial claims.

    The key fact of this matter is that the facts claimed by the so-called poisoned residents have not been established.

  3. Daniel Ferguson

    March 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    #1 Yes but maybe they are not so keen to get all ‘Slater and Gordon’, just want to have the information to know if they are living in toxic surroundings so they have the opportunity to move if they wish or as you say, take the litigation path. On another note, is the mining company the best or most impartial entity to be doing the testing?

  4. Jen Henshaw

    March 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    In all this, it’s worth remembering that the Rosebery ore bodies were originally (pre-mining) sticking out of the ground. Natural weathering processes would have been operating on those exposures for millions of years before mining started. Consequently, it would be truly remarkable if there were not elevated concentrations of elements associated with the mineralisation in soils around Rosebery, mining or not.

    Rosebery residents would do well to bear this mind before getting all Slater & Gordon. Even if the test results end up showing dangerous heavy metal concentrations in some areas, the burden of proof will remain on them to show that these were caused by extraction operations. That will be difficult to say the least.

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