Matt Perks - 1 February 2022

Matt Perks presented to Council at the Public Access Session on 1 February 2022.

Questions relating to a recent increase of gold mining activity within Eurobodalla.


There has been a recent increase in gold mining related exploratory and analytic activity within the Eurobodalla in at least two locations.

  1. A large area west of Mogo/Batemans Bay/Clyde River (Batemans Project).
  2. The old ‘Donkey Hill’ gold mine site and surroundings just South of the Moruya Township (Donkey Hill site); approximately 4 Km Southwest of this very building

Batemans Project Details

Exploration of the Batemans Project has already commenced and is being conducted by the Mitre Mining Corporation, a recently listed Australian public company.

  • They’ve just raised $5 million dollars for the purposes of Gold Mining exploration in this area.
  • They’ve just launched a 2-year exploratory project on a 138 square Kilometre area just Northwest of Mogo extending the North behind Neligan.
    • This Exploration License area covers land over the Clyde River, its tributaries and the Tomaga River.
    • It includes farmland locations within Buckenbowra, Runnyford and other farmland just West of Neligan.

The aim Mitre Mining Corporation is to continue gold mining exploratory activities in preparation for establishing a Mining Lease and commencing large scale open cut gold mining production.

Donkey Hill Site Details

Exploration of the Donkey Hill site has commenced and is being conducted by CCJ Enterprises PTY LTD, an Australian private company.  This entity was discovered by chance when they entered upon private land, without access rights being negotiated, during one of their exploration surveys last November.

They have both an Exploration License and a Mining Lease in the Donkey Hill area.

CCJ Exploration Licence

  • The Exploration License covers an area west of the Princes highway behind Coila Lake reaching as far North as the Southwestern outskirts of Moruya Township (just short of Yarragee Road).
  • It covers land crossing the Deua River, the Moruya River and Coila Creek.
  • It incorporates tributaries of the Deua and Moruya River systems including Wamban Creek, Dwyers Creek and Candoin Creek.
  • It covers farmland that includes Southern reaches of the Moruya township, Wamban, Kiora and Bergalia.

CCJ Mining Lease (sole shareholder of Arrow Gold)

There is an existing mining lease that has been in effect since 1982 (unused) that is confined to the old ‘Donkey Hill’ mining site (about 4km from Council Chambers).

  • This mining lease covers crown land and private property in Wamban
  • It is directly uphill from Wamban Creek, Spring Creek and Candoin Creek; all of which flow into the Deua River less than 1km away.

Environmental Concerns/Risks

Acid Mine Drainage

What is it?

the term acid mine drainage is the inadvertent oxidation of sulphides in mining waste leading to the release of pollutants. This includes seepages from waste rock, tailings, underground workings, and pit walls where the contaminants are produced. Even if processes have neutralised the acidity, it can leave excessive levels of heavy metals in water.

Acid rock drainage actually occurs naturally within some environments as part of the rock weathering process at a very slow rate. However large-scale earth disturbances such as mining and other large construction activities can greatly accelerate this process by allowing the release of pollutants in surface and ground water at rates far greater than the downstream environment can sustain without significant ecological effects. It is one of the main strategic environmental issues facing the mining industry.

Acid drainage is a little-known global crisis. The UN has even labelled it the second biggest problem facing the world after global warming.

What are the potential effects?

  • Long term - Once started, AMD can be a persistent and potentially severe source of pollution from mine sites. It is its long-term nature which creates the environmental problems for mine operators, as acid drainage can continue to be a major source of pollution long after mining ceases. Poor-quality water from the production of AMD may continue to damage the environment, human health and livelihoods for decades or even centuries. A mine site in the Iberian Pyrite Belt in Spain, for example, has been generating AMD for more than 2,000 years.
  • AMD may be very acidic which can present a major risk to aquatic life, riparian vegetation, and human uses of the water resource for many kilometres downstream from where it enters a waterway. In many parts of the world, local communities depend on waterways for their livelihood. Clean water is essential for drinking, crop irrigation and stock watering, and is vital to sustain aquatic ecosystems, including aquatic life used for food.

Other Concerns

  • Truck Traffic.
  • Gold extraction methods (e.g. cyanide).
  • Noise pollution.
  • Excessive dust released to the air and surrounding streams.
  • General nature of the Townships; changing from a balanced industry, farming, tourist focus to that of heavy industry.

Questions to Councillors

  1. Do any of you have any knowledge of this matter?
  2. Do you share concerns regarding the likely negative environment and social impact that would be introduced by mining ventures of this nature in this region?
  3. Do any of you have any pre-existing affiliations with mining interests in this region that need to be publicly declared?
  4. Will you engage with the community to look into this matter further?