Appendix A - Synopsis of Advisory Bodies and Public Comments
Aboriginal Areas Protection Board
Department of the Chief Minister
Notes that the proposed development appears to conform with the broad thrust of development related policies of the government.
Department of Mines and Energy
Notes that overall the project will not contribute to a significant impact given that an approved Environmental Management Plan is submitted.
Notes that some samples of waste rock have relatively high phosphorus levels.
Recommends that detection limits and analytes for all future samples of ground and surface water are clarified with the Department prior to analysis.
Recommends that the proponent detail in the Environmental Management Plan methods to prevent the spread of Cane Toads from the site.
Notes the lack of data in regard to the water management plan (additional information was requested and received from Ashton Mining Limited during the assessment period).
Notes the confusion over the scientific name for Noogoora Bur, Xanthium occidentale not X. formosa.
Recommends that a strategy is developed to prevent the introduction of weeds to the site especially during the road construction stage eg. machinery washdown/inspection prior to accessing the site.
Notes the absence of pit designs.
Notes the brevity of information on tailings and tailings dam design.
Notes the absence of any discussion as to the significance of the various land units/vegetation communities in relation to project activities.
Department of Lands, Planning and Environment
Notes the lack of baseline data in regard to surface and groundwater.
Notes that elevated levels of barium, nickel and chromium will be present in the tailings.
Notes that there is no contingency for additional groundwater monitoring bores should they be required.
Notes that the flora and fauna surveys were inadequate in their timing and duration.
Notes that there are several flora/fauna species of significance in the area but there has been no recommendations for protection outlined in the PER.
Notes discrepancies in the terrain or land unit surveying in regard to drainage network analysis.
Notes that no discussion of land capability for sewage or refuse disposal has been provided.
Recommends that flat bottom drains in preference to V drains in road construction to minimise scouring.
Recommends that adequate mitre drains are needed to allow runoff to be safely removed from table drains.
Recommends that waste hydrocarbons are disposed of by complying to the NT's Used Oil Management Plan and off-site disposal of hazardous wastes will be subject to regulation under the proposed Waste Management and Pollution Control Act.
Recommends that the access track be realigned 30m to the west or east from Catfish Hole 1 and construct a temporary fence to avoid damage by machinery operating in the area.
Supports the recommendation to fence and erect warning signs at Catfish Hole 2.
Recommends that heavy machinery should be strictly prohibited from operating within the immediate vicinity of archaeological sites and recommends partial fencing of Boomerang Creek 1-4 sites.
Recommends the inclusion of Catfish Hole 2 as a monitoring site in addition to Boomerang Creek 1-4 and Catfish Hole 2.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Recommends that key issues should include the introduction of noxious weeds.
Notes the confusion in the PER as to the exact species of Xanthium.
Notes that the table of monitoring tasks does not include any control action - only inspections.
Recommends that Task 1 of the monitoring tasks include "Carry out control of weed infestations".
Northern Territory Attorney-General's Department
Notes that the proposed mining area is contained wholly within a Perpetual Crown Lease which would, prima facie, preclude any claim under the ALRA.
Notes that the proposal has immediate native title implications to the extent that the majority of the upgraded road will pass through PPL 1051 which is subject to Native Title Determination Application (DC97/1).
Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory
Notes that there are no major objections to the project.
Notes that there is some confusion as to the species of Xanthium described in the PER.
Notes that Table 18 incorrectly lists five species of flora as introduced and Appendix G incorrectly list four species as introduced.
Notes that the strategies for preventing weed infestations need to be more specific for the construction phase of the access road and site construction.
Recommends that earthmoving machinery needs to be thoroughly washed down before entering the site.
Notes that it is totally unacceptable and irresponsible to presume that vehicle washdown in the McArthur River will provide an adequate level of hygiene and weed exclusion.
Recommends that the exotic species eradication program should be more specific.
Recommends that there needs to be a clear statement and intention that no exotic species will be planted on the site.
Recommends that the proponent should liaise with the local Bushfire Council personnel to develop an appropriate fire management strategy for the area.
Recommends that when the site is decommissioned that revegetation is completed using locally provenanced species.
Power and Water Authority
Notes that should the projects later stages require significant power production, the Authority may be able to provide power at a comparable cost to diesel and achieve greenhouse gas savings through a gas fuel generation.
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Notes that the document adequately addresses the major issues relating to the composition, status, impacts and conservation of the fauna of the project area.
Notes that the PER lacks detail on small cryptic fauna that can only be obtained through comprehensive multi-seasonal surveys.
Notes that if the proposed conservation measures are adhered to, there should not be a significant lasting effect on local fauna.
Notes that the aquatic fauna was not sampled.
Territory Health Services
Recommends the effluent disposal system be designed and sized as per the Territory Health Services Code of Practice for Small On-site Sewage and Sullage Treatment Systems and the Disposal or Reuse of Sewage Effluent.
Recommends that all accommodation be adequately insect screened.
Recommended that staff have ready access to educational material on mosquitoes, mosquito borne diseases and personal protection measures from mosquito bites.
Notes that the impact of biting midges in this location is likely to be minimal.
Recommends that the baseline monitoring program be commenced as soon as possible.
Transport and Works
Work Health Authority
Notes that a detailed diagram of the plant site is absent.
Notes the lack of information/quantities of reagents required for the operation.
Notes the lack of diagrams and information in regard to the location and design of waste rock stockpiles.
Notes the lack of detail in the PER of how contractors will be controlled and monitored by the proponent.
Notes that site access to local Aboriginal people may be affected by the strict security measures.
Notes a number of issues related to the construction of the access road:
no information of the anticipated increase in traffic
lack of information on workforce numbers
lack of information of accommodation for workforce
impacts on the township of Borroloola
lack of details on the protection of heritage sites during construction
Notes that there is no information regarding a public employment and training management strategy for Aboriginal people.
Recommends that the proponent include their Environmental, Heritage and Aboriginal Sacred Sites Policy in the Environmental Management Plan.
Notes that there is no code of conduct for employees or contractors regarding interaction with local Aboriginal communities.
Notes that the biophysical environment has been well presented.
Notes that there is very little information on how the proponent will protect the identified heritage sites.
Notes that no overseeing authority is identified for the safeguarding of the identified heritage sites.
All (Assessment Report) recommendations are to be included in any approvals or leases to be issued by the Department of Mines and Energy to the proponent, Ashton Mining Ltd.
The Environmental Management Plan (EMP) should be referred to the Department of Lands, Planning and Environment for review and comment prior to approval by the Department of Mines and Energy.