Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The Tweed Valley may be extensively explored for gold and minerals if NSW Deputy-Premier and Nationals Leader John Barilaro has his way


Tweed Valley IMAGE:

On 30 September 2020 Gold Belt Pty Ltd (registered August 2020) announced that in late August it had applied for an exploration licence covering a 118 square kilometre corridor, approximately 33kms in length as the crow flies, from Bilambil Heights in the north to Dunbible in the south of the Tweed local government area. 

This corridor also includes Cobaki, Bilambil, Terranora, Bungalora, Duguigan, Tumbulgum, Duroby, Tumbulgum, Condong, Kielvale, Fernvale, Stokers Siding, Dum Dum, Uki and the outskirts of Muwillumbah

Exploration is for metallic minerals including gold, silver and copper and the Tweed is not the only NSW region Gold Belt and, a small cluster of other mining companies registered in Narellan NSW, are seeking to explore.!/title/ELA%206115/1992

Google Earth snapshot showing terrain, 15 February 2021

On 15 October 2020 the Echo NetDaily reported that; ‘These areas include densely populated and rural areas and include the town drinking water catchments of the Clarrie Hall Dam and the Bray Park Weir, the Tweed River, the State Significant Coastal Lake of Terranora Broadwater, and important sugar cane growing areas that are highly vulnerable to any impacts on land availability due to production viability of the sugar mill,’ explains Cr Milne in the notes.

Tweed Shire recognised as one of Australia’s 8 National Iconic Landscapes and an internationally significant environment with the highest biodiversity in NSW but the highest number of threatened species in Australia.

Tourism is an important economy for the Tweed and any impact of these values through such mining activities would be highly detrimental to its tourism reputation.

There has been vehement opposition from the Tweed Community to mining activities in the past in regards to Coal seam Gas Mining and Commercial Water Extraction with these activities now prohibited in the Tweed Shire.

This mining application is highly inappropriate for such a sensitive and significant location as the Tweed Shire.’…..

Echo NetDaily, 15 February 2021:

The application for a mining exploration licence that covers a large swathe of the Tweed Shire continues to raise concerns for Tweed Shire Councillors and residents.

The application, that was lodged in early October 2020, covers 118 square kilometre corridor from Bilambil Heights in the north to Dunbible in the south. It relates to the exploration of metallic minerals including gold, silver and copper.

At the previous Tweed Shire Council meeting (4 February) Councillors noted that the Minister for Regional NSW had responded to their letter in mid-October that objected ‘in the strongest terms to the Exploration (Minerals) Licence Application ELA 6115 in the Tweed Shire’.

While there is no exploration on private land without the written consent of the landholder and no exploration in National Parks or nature reserves Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) said mining consent on council land needed clarification.

Mayor Cherry told the meeting that she had ‘heard very strongly that people don’t want the mining to happen’.

The majority of councillors, with Cr Pryce Allsop (Conservative) against, voted to write back to the minister ‘to reiterate our deep concerns with regards to gold exploration/mining in the Tweed Shire due to the international significance of the environment and scenic landscape of this Shire, and…’ that the Council does ‘Not support gold exploration or mining activities on Council owned land and any requests for such, including for owners consent to lodge an application, or request for access must be brought to a Council meeting for determination.’

Courts can rule for mining

Councillor Katie Milne (Greens) clarified that while access arrangements are required for the mining exploration to take place on private land a landholder cannot always refuse consent.

It is shocking for a lot of people to find out that while they get compensated they don’t have the right to say no. If the negotiation between the landholder and mining company is not successful then it can be taken to court for approval,’ said Cr Milne.

It could be a very big and concerning issue for what is actually an internationally environmentally significant area. The Gondwana rainforest (UNESCO world heritage) is the best example (of the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest) in the world. I think sometimes the state government does not remember that we are an internationally significant environment. We have a very big duty to protect this area. Any mining – including water, sand, and gas – all has a very large impact on our landscape.

The land area covered (by the mining exploration licence) is absolutely vast – if it gets approved we may be in the shock of our lives.’


NSW Deputy Premier & Nationals MP for Monaro John Barilaro proves once again that he doesn't understand that mining & overdevelopment has marked downsides for communities in north-east NSW  16 February 2021

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