There has already been at least one significant instance of water contamination. Mine pit water spilt in Coral Creek in September 2010 and was tested by the Queensland Government regulating authority and found to contain elevated levels of nitrates, salts and various metals, such as uranium, silver, vanadium and selenium.
Our concerns were further exacerbated upon learning that the required quarterly inspections of the flood protection levee had not taken place in 2010, and the operators had been discharging into an unauthorised discharge point as subsequently determined by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) investigation. A Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) was issued and a fine applied to Sonoma Mine Management (SMM) as a result of the investigation.
Under the legislation at the time the maximum fine of $2000 was applied for the infringement.