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Media Release: NT EPA releases Mount Todd investigation report

17 Oct 2013

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has today released its investigation report on uncontrolled discharges from the Mt Todd Mine site during the 2012-13 Wet season.

Acting Chair of the NT EPA Mr Gary Nairn said the report documents the causes of the uncontrolled discharges from retention ponds 2 and 5 in February 2013 and assesses the potential impact on the environment from the discharges.

“While the discharges had the potential to cause environmental harm, the NT EPA has assessed the overall risk of environmental harm from the 22 and 23 February discharges as “low”.

“However, the report also concluded that site water management practices and water management infrastructure at the time were insufficient to prevent uncontrolled discharges from the retention ponds, and unlikely to prevent such discharges in the future,” Mr Nairn said.

In considering the findings of the investigation, the NT EPA determined the most practical and effective way to reduce the risk of future uncontrolled discharges from retention ponds 2 and 5 is to ensure that additional measures are implemented by project owners Vista Gold, to better manage these retention ponds.

Mr Nairn said Vista Gold, in response to the investigation and in consultation with the NT EPA, has committed to additional measures for the 2013-14 Wet season, including new water management infrastructure and a review of operating procedures.

“The aim is to reduce the risk of uncontrolled discharges from these retention ponds in the coming Wet season, and to maintain a high level of environmental management across the operation.” Mr Nairn said.

The investigation report and the formal NT EPA decision are available below.

Media contact – Lesley Major  0419 288 284