$2m mine controls after Dee River ‘toxic time bomb’ claim

Foster is demanding action to improve the quality of water in the Dee River. He is afraid the water could kill someone
Foster is demanding action to improve the quality of water in the Dee River. He is afraid the water could kill someone Chris Ison

THE State Government is undertaking seepage control measures at a cost of more than $2 million at the Mt Morgan mine site, says Assistant Mining Minister Lisa France.

Her statement follows concerns about water quality in the Dee River.

Mount Morgan resident Tom Foster has labelled the river a toxic time bomb.

Ms France said control measures included the State Government increasing the volume of contaminated water treated at the Mt Morgan pit from 1.8ML (mega litres) a day to 4.6ML since assuming power last year.

"We are also putting our focus on reducing the water level in the mining pit," Ms France said.

"That is absolutely important for us to prevent spillage into local waterways during flooding.

"We are also taking into consideration some of the suggestions put forward at a meeting with residents last week."

Ms France said the Mt Morgan mine site was among the State Government's top priorities.

It would continue to treat the water with current treatment processes.

Mt Morgan residents and visitors to the area have noticed a murky blue colour staining the Dee River.

Water colouration downstream from the historic mine site has occurred for many years, and results from the mixing of low pH water mixes with higher pH water.

Ms France said the blue colouration seen in the Dee River happened when the pH was about 4.5-5.5.

In a Morning Bulletin report last week, Mr Foster said there was evidence of aluminium sulphate and cadmium in the Dee River.

Cadmium is a major cause of kidney and prostate cancer, according to a Federal Government website.

Topics:  dee river mount morgan state government

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