Mine concerns still linger over McPhillamy project

GETTING INFORMATION: Residents of Blayney and Kings Plains at the Regis meeting on Tuesday, one of two open days held this week. Photo: SUPPLIED.
GETTING INFORMATION: Residents of Blayney and Kings Plains at the Regis meeting on Tuesday, one of two open days held this week. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Over 100 residents of Blayney and Kings Plans have backed the chance to find out more information about the McPhillamys Gold Mine project at two community open days to discuss peoples' concerns.

Belubula Headwaters Protection Group president Daniel Sutton, who lives about one kilometre from the proposed mine site near Walkom Road off the Great Western Highway, said it was a good chance to pick the brains of Regis Resource experts.

"It was really good to have all their experts who wrote the report there, so we didn't get the run-around of people not knowing the answers to questions, it was good to have it in black and white," Mr Sutton said.

"My concern is it's all too late in the piece, we're only two or three weeks out from the Environmental Impact Statement and this should have been done much earlier."

I asked them a lot of questions about air quality on bad days where it's three or four windy days in a row and was told they don't model for that because it's an anomaly.

Belubula Headwaters Protection Group president Daniel Sutton

He said while it was good to get answers about the project, he was concerned by some of the methodology behind the answers.

Mr Sutton said a lot of the company's observations about environmental impact were coming from the assumption the mine would be implementing best-practice policies, but "there'll be times when they can't, even if they want to".

"I asked them a lot of questions about air quality on bad days where it's three or four windy days in a row and was told they don't model for that because it's an anomaly," Mr Sutton said.

He said many of the experts told him the company would take the feedback onboard, but Mr Sutton said some residents don't think Regis will follow through and act on their concerns.

Regis Resources NSW manager of special projects Tony McPaul said between 70 and 100 people attended Tuesday's first meeting, with experts still talking to residents after 7pm.

"Questions were really varied, each resident had individual circumstances and questions about the project," Mr McPaul said.

We had some people come in and ask when it will be getting start because they want a job out there, so there were some who were supporting the project.

Regis Resources NSW manager of special projects Tony McPaul

He said most questions were about the tailings dam, noise, dust, environmental impact including surface water and ground water and the social impact, in terms of what it will mean for the district and residents of Blayney and Kings Plains.

"We had some people come in and ask when it will be getting start because they want a job out there, so there were some who were supporting the project."

While he didn't have a split for those who were concerned against those who were for the project, Mr McPaul said a larger number of residents were concerned compared to those who were showing support.

Regis will be holding another meeting on May 23 from 6pm to 9pm at the Blayney Community Centre.

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