THE developers of a new gold mine planned for Kings Plains have stepped up their campaign to win public support for the project.
Regis Resources has taken out a full-page advertisement in today’s Western Advocate to “correct some of the misinformation that has been circulated” in relation to its plans.
Regis says the proposed McPhillamys Gold Project would create 200 jobs and represent a $150 million investment in the local economy during the 18-month construction phase, and inject $80 million a year into the economy during the operations phase.
Once operating, the mine would create 150 direct jobs and more than 400 indirect jobs for at least 10 years, Regis says.
But it has been Regis’ plan to buy treated effluent from Bathurst Regional Council to run the mine that has created most opposition within the community.
Regis wants to buy between eight and 10 megalitres of treated effluent each day – equivalent to the daily output from the Bathurst Waste Water Treatment Plant back into the Macquarie River.
Environmentalists say the sell-off would reduce river flows, threaten riparian wildlife and adversely impact on downstream river users, but Regis says “cease to transfer” rules written into the contract with council would adequately address those concerns.
Today’s advertisement says the company would develop suitable water storages at McPhillamys to allow it to continue operations during cease to transfer periods. It also addresses the needs of downstream river users.
“The downstream irrigators have licence allocations to extract water from the river,” the advertisement states.
“The independent studies undertaken by SKM (now Jacobs) and GHD Australia identified that the treated effluent water could be diverted to McPhillamys whilst still protecting the licence allocations of all downstream irrigators.
“Regis has also offered to place flow gauges at various points along the river, adjacent to irrigators’ properties, to demonstrate that the downstream irrigators’ licence allocations would not be impacted by the proposal.”
Regis invites community members who believe the project would benefit Bathurst to send a written submission to feedback@bathurst .nsw.gov.au. While the deadline for submissions ended on December 19, council general manager David Sherley has indicated he would accept late submissions until mid-January.
Councillors are expected to consider Mr Sherley’s report on Regis’ proposal to buy the region’s treated effluent at the February 3 council meeting.