The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has completed the environmental impact assessment of Primary Gold Limited’s Toms Gully Underground Project and concluded it can proceed in an environmentally acceptable manner providing the recommendations made in Assessment Report 91 are implemented.
The Assessment Report 91 has been provided to the Northern Territory Minister for Environment and Natural Resources who will provide it to the Minister for Primary Industry and Resources for consideration in developing conditions and approvals under the Mining Management Act 2001.
Primary Gold Limited proposes to recommence underground mining, on-site processing of gold ore and rehabilitation of legacy (historical) mining structures within granted Mining Lease North (MLN) 1058, Toms Gully, approximately 100km south-east of Darwin. The proposal is a brownfield site previously mined for gold between 1988 and 2011.
NT EPA delegated member, Ms Janice van Reyk, said the NT EPA identified potential impacts and risks to: soil, surface water and groundwater quality due to contamination from mining wastes; downstream aquatic ecosystems in the Mary River as a result of surface water contamination; and downstream social, economic and cultural values.
“The NT EPA has considered the Proposal by Primary Gold Limited to develop the Toms Gully Underground Project and made 18 recommendations to avoid or mitigate the risks associated with the Proposal” Ms van Reyk said. “The 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.”
“The 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.”
These recommendations are for decision-makers to consider in approval conditions for the proposed action and the Proponent to consider in undertaking the action.
To obtain a copy of the assessment report please visit ntepa.nt.gov.au/environmental-assessments/projects-completed