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Green light for CBH

Thursday, 28th January, 2010

* Development at the Rasp Mine began * Development at the Rasp Mine began

CBH Resources' application to crush and store ore at its Rasp Mine has been approved by City Council.

Council considered the development application at its monthly meeting last night. CBH Resources will mine remnant ore underground, accessing the site through the bottom of the existing Kintore Pit.

The application approved last night sought to crush and stockpile ore at the site before transporting it to Cobar. City Council delayed their decision on the matter last week so they could better accommodate community concerns voiced by the group RACE (Residents Against Contaminated Environments).

RACE, chiefly made up of residents surrounding the mine site, was worried about dust from the site bringing lead and other contaminates into the city, and called for independent testing of the operation. Last night was the new Council's first full meeting.

Mayor Wincen Cuy stood aside while Council considered the CBH matter as he holds shares in the company. Deputy Mayor Neville Gasmier presided over the debate. Councillor John Groenendijk moved that the application be approved as recommended - subject to the existing conditions imposed by Council, the EPA, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water and the RTA - and added new conditions.

He added that CBH provide monthly reports on any issues that had impacted the community and follow-up action and that CBH pass along to Council any complaints received via telephone. He also added that Council ask the State Government to reinstate lead funding to previous levels and investigate the sealing of Eyre Lane and the addition of footpaths to Eyre Lane and Eyre Street.

After some discussion, during which RACE was lauded for ensuring Council kept community concerns in mind, the altered approval was passed. Councillor Jamie Mitchell gave the only vote against. As the meeting drew to a close resident Jarvis Pettit congratulated Council on its decision, but suggested the restrictions went too far. He said everyone needed to get behind the mine and "should be bowing down to this company" due to the value of the project.

Members of RACE present at the meeting said afterwards that Council was to be commended on listening and acting upon community concerns. But they said Council's conditions had missed the point, as the mine was still being allowed to monitor itself. Without independent dust monitoring, member Robert Holmes said, there was little transparency, and the community would have to take their word that the right thing was being done.

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