LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News Volume 13 Number 3, May 2013, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editorial Team: Elizabeth O’Brien, Zac Gethin-Damon, Hitesh Lohani and Shristi Lohani

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 Again on 22 May another TPEHN media release went out

Secrecy over Rosebery dust data needs to end

On the 18th February, 2010 the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania issued a Media Release calling on MMG and GHD to release the results of their previous environmental sampling programs, especially those conducted in 2007/2008 (see copy below).

To date the DHHS, EPA and MMG Rosebery mine have failed to publicly release this data.

Yesterday Kay Seltitzas held a Media Conference in Hobart and called for a meeting with Premier Lara Giddings and Minister Nick McKim to discuss the establishment of an Inquiry into the DHHS/EPA Rosebery investigations that would review three key issues that remain outstanding.

The first of these issues was to conduct a Review of all information on all emissions from MMG Rosebery mine for the last ten years.

After the recent Cradle Mountain Water revelations about lead in the reticulated drinking water supply in Rosebery it is now never more urgent to address the outstanding issues surrounding the secrecy over emissions data from the Rosebery mine.

It is now imperative that the denial and secrecy over dust as a potential pathway for inhalation of toxic metal dust by Rosebery residents is ended.

Information on the Australian Government Geoscience website shows just how possible it is to collect data to establish data from atmospheric deposition of dust from Rosebery and other mines on the west coast. This is just one method that could be used to collect data but this research highlights the extent of wind borne dispersal and deposition of toxic heavy metal contaminants over Tasmania.

This research from core samples taken in Lake Dora, north east of Queenstown, shows heavy metal contaminants that correlate with emissions originating from mining activities in either Queenstown, Zeehan or Rosebery prior to and post European occupation.

From Australian Government Geoscience Australia,  OzCoasts - Australian Online Coastal Information, here: http://www.ozcoasts.gov.au/indicators/metal_contaminants.jsp

Profiles of trace metals in dated sediment cores can be used to show changes in trace metal influx pre- and post-European arrival.

Figure 2. Lead, arsenic and copper concentrations measured in a 9 cm sediment core extracted from Lake Dora, a subalpine tarn located 15 km NE of Queenstown in western Tasmania. The chronology was determined on the basis of high resolution 210Pb analysis of the top 6 cm of the core. Increased trace metal values between 1880 and 1900 correspond with the introduction of smelters in the region. The significant increase in concentrations from 1960 correlates well with the international boom in copper prices and consequent increased production at Queenstown. The metals are thought to have been derived from open cut mining spoils and deposited in Lake Dora through wind transport (see Harle et al., 2002 [17]). Analyses were carried out at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation as part of its Human Activity and Climate Variability Project. Contact Dr Kate Harle for more information.

Why is it that the DHHS/EPA 2008-2010 investigations were unable to conduct any tests on atmospheric deposition in Rosebery, including isotopic testing, or publicly release any of the data provided to them by MMG on their own dust monitoring data required under their licensing agreement? How simple would that be?

Marsha Stejskal’s house with MMG mines ventilation shaft emission plume behind - vent shaft location above Murchison Highway and west of Mountain Creek. How much dust deposition from here over the years in a valley prone to windy conditions and frequent inversions, asks Isla MacGregor.

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