LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News Volume 17 Number 4, June 2017, ISSN 1324-6011
The newsletter of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia Ph: (02) 9716 0014,
Email www.lead.org.au/cu.html Web: www.lead.org.au/; www.leadsafeworld.com.

Editorial Team: Elizabeth O’Brien and Hesaan Sheridan
Web Admin: Malveek Kaur Dhaliwal

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Letter to the editor: Crusher dust contamination of sandpit sand in Broken Hill, Australia

Dear Elizabeth,

I would have given this information to you sooner but I have been in hospital not well.

My daughter-in-law had purchased a home for herself and my granddaughter - we were helping set up a Lead free area that she could be safe and play. We had enclosed an area for her. We were given a voucher from the Lead Centre to get Lead free beach sand.

Photo (above): Sand voucher from Broken Hill Lead Centre

We attended Mawson Quarry where the voucher was to be redeemed.

Photo (at right): Beach sand pile where you redeem your Broken Hill Lead Centre voucher. This is the first pile of Beach sand opposite the first crusher in pic belching toxic dust.

Google satellite image (left) of Mawson Quarry Broken Hill, from http://www.mawsons.com.au/branches/broken-hill-quarry

The truck went and scooped the pile sand and placed it in the ute. I had noticed that the sand was exposed – there was no cover.

Photo: Washed bagged sand purchased from Globe.

I had concerns and went back the next day to take some photos of the exposed sand, only to find two crushers either side of the exposed sand crushing mullock rock that contains Lead and other heavy metals. I took photos and drove to the hill opposite the quarry to find a second pile of so-called Beach sand with the contaminated dust belching all over it too.

So all this beach sand could be contaminated and parents have no idea when their children are playing in contaminated sand. I also have purchased bagged sand for my granddaughter after taking all the pics.

How can this happen - where is the chain of command in regards to vouchers and the beach sand?

Not 50 meters away from the sand pile, you have CBH Mining mill ponds and the Mill belching out contamination.

Google satellite images (above) of the mine site opposite Mawsons (CBH) Mining.

Then you have the 2 crushers in Mawsons belching contamination. The whole time this beach sand is being covered in this toxic dust.

Photo: Mawsons quarry (mullock containing lead) Drill blast extract material opposite the beach sand piles.

Photo: Mawsons first crusher opposite the Beach sand pile.

Photo: Mawsons second crusher opposite the Beach sand pile.

Photo (above): Toxic dust pluming over the Beach sand pile from the Mawson crusher

Photo: Drill core (in background) at Mawsons, extracting mullock.

Photo: Dust pluming all over site at Mawson quarry. This is a reserve pile of Beach sand that is used when the first and second piles are used up.

Photo: Dust leaving the crusher.

Photo: Second pile of Beach sand.

This is why Broken Hill children are poisoned by exposure to contaminated toxic dust.

Dust monitors don’t work. Surface mining by CBH mining company happens at night (when most people are asleep) so the community doesn’t see the dust. When I drive out the South area of Broken Hill at night, I have to turn my high beam on because of all the dust. The sulfur smell of the dust containing mill reagents is disgusting.

Photo(at right): Sand pit contamination - back of Mawsons Quarry.

The NSW EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) and Department of Planning are aware and for some reason turn a blind eye even when they’re presented with pics, dates and times. It just falls on deaf ears. So will the contaminated beach sand.

Photo(at left): Beach sand pit contamination.

All the kid’s play equipment like swing sets and trampolines get covered in dust every night, so unless the parents go out and hose down the play equipment every morning – and ignore the water restrictions - how do you keep your kids safe?

CBH Mining company say they are not surface mining, they sub-contract surface mining, and still hold the licence that was supposed to be handed back to the NSW Department of Planning 8 years ago. Therefore they still can continue surface mining without any environmental licence being adhered to.

Photo (above): Surface mining CBH Mining Lease 7 extraction of mine skimps (tailings) opposite Mawsons Quarry.

How can the parents of Broken Hill keep their children safe from Lead?

Jenny Rowbotham
Broken Hill, NSW
15 June 2017

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