Monthly Archives: May 2017

Update May 2017

Mineral Exploration in the Halls Peak Area

In April, SOMR chairman Arthur Bain, accompanied by environment protectors from Armidale, paid a visit to the derelict Gibsons Open Cut Mine, in the gorge country of the Upper Macleay. SOMR wanted to confirm claims of exploration drilling in November and December 2016. A large drilling venture to the depth of 1,000m has been announced to start in mid-2017.

The holder of the Exploration Licence 4474 for the Halls Peak area had received a government grant of $90,500 for exploration drilling in 2014. Drilling on a small scale was carried out then. We have no information how much of the grant money was spent. The Exploration Licence was then held by Precious Metal Resources, later passed on to Sovereign Gold and more recently to Force Commodities, a company based in WA.

The abandoned Gibsons Open Cut Mine is located in rather isolated country. To the utter surprise of both parties, Arthur happened to meet representatives of the latest iteration of the mining exploration company. 
Peter Smith – the newest non-executive director of Force Commodities was also there to find evidence of the recent exploration drilling. He briefly discussed plans for the development of Gibsons Open Cut, the extraction of Zinc, Copper, Silver and Lead resources.

The site is currently “managed” by the Derelict Mines Office, state government funds are used to to minimise contamination of the Chandler River, the science does not currently exist for rehabilitation or remediation. (see also SOMR website Archive January 2014)

This time, no evidence of recent exploration drilling was found. It appears that the “new” company is simply repeating the previous claims of massive resource potential and ignoring the logistical difficulties of safely extracting and transporting minerals from this isolated and environmentally fragile area.

Ecohealth report card on the Macleay’s waterways

The Ecohealth card report for the Macleay River was tabled at the Kempsey Council meeting on 21 February 2017. On 4 May Council presented the results at a launch at the Riverside Park. A small group of invited guests was in attendance. NBN News reported.

Antimony Contamination Cleaned at Urunga Wetlands

In early 2013 SOMR was established as a result of concerns about the transportation of contaminated soil from Urunga to Hillgrove at the top of the Macleay River catchment. Since then, the antimony contamination has been dealt with in situ and the Urunga Wetlands have been transformed into a recreation area. Local media recently reported about the transformation from wasteland into an eco-friendly tourist attraction. When googling “Urunga Wetlands”, several links can be found.

AGM followed by a General Meeting

27 May 2017 at 10.30 am, Kempsey RSL Club