Australia’s New South Wales Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is starting a new investigation into Newcrest Mining’s Cadia mine over dust and pollutant emissions, its second probe in a year for the gold operation.
Reuters reported that, in March, Cadia Community Sustainability Network (CCSN) – a residents' group from Orange, New South Wales – said they and a researcher from Western Sydney University recently identified heavy metal contamination.
Additionally, local media reported test results of residents living near the mine show they have high levels of selenium, nickel and lead in their blood.
It is the second investigation for Cadia, Newcrest's flagship gold mine; nine months ago, it was fined a maximum penalty of A$15,000 for dust pollution per the report.
“The industry has strict obligations to meet clean air standards and currently Cadia appears to be falling well short of our expectations," Tony Chappel, NSW EPA chief executive officer, told Reuters.
“Last week, the EPA received new evidence from the community to suggest actions by the mine to reduce dust pollution have not been effective.”
Newcrest said it is committed to ensuring statutory obligations are met.
“We take our environmental obligations and the concerns raised by some members of the local community seriously,” said acting Cadia General Manager Mick Dewar.
Cadia had until 23 May, the report said, to respond to the EPA's latest investigation.