An independent health risk assessment has found metallic dusts from a mine in Costerfield, near Bendigo, are not at dangerous levels in the community.
In response to concerns from local residents, the Andrews Labor Government commissioned Golder Associates to carry out an independent investigation into whether antimony, lead and arsenic from mining operations were affecting the health of Costerfield residents.
The assessment found that antimony is unlikely to cause adverse health effects in Costerfield residents.
It is safe for householders to use tank water for bathing and showering, but the levels of antimony in household tank water means that these tanks should not be used as a source of drinking water.
Costerfield residents will continue to receive bottled water until the Government has completed an assessment of longer term water supply options.
Representatives of Victoria’s mining regulator, Earth Resources Regulation, the Department of Health and Human Services and Golder Associates are meeting one-on-one with local residents to discuss the findings.
A community open house for local residents will also be held at Costerfield Hall between 2pm and 6pm on Friday 22 April.
Earth Resources Regulation will be issuing an Improvement Notice to the mine operator, Mandalay Resources, requiring them to further improve dust control at the mine.
Mandalay Resources has also been asked to investigate how dust monitoring results can be provided to the community on-line and in real-time.
The Government is working to create safe, sustainable operations for mine workers and local communities, while giving industry confidence to invest and create new jobs.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy and Earth Resources Lily D’Ambrosio
“The local community deserves to have confidence that their health and wellbeing is not being impacted by the mine’s operations, which is why we commissioned this independent report.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“We welcome the findings of the independent review and will work with Costerfield residents and the mine operator to ensure community concerns are addressed.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020