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Father fears for family's health from mine dust impacts

A Costerfield father is considering moving his family out of their home because of his concerns over the level of antimony in his two daughters.

June 4, 2014 3:00am

Scott Delmo believes the neighbouring Mandalay Resources mine is contributing to the raised levels of antimony.

Mr Delmo’s daughters Nitika, 5, and Dakota, 7, have tested far above accepted safe levels for the element which many believe could come from dust at the mine site.

He said the concern had affected his family to the point where they wanted to leave their home in search of emergency accommodation until the issue was resolved.

‘‘It keeps us awake at night worrying. I drive trucks for a living and I am drinking plenty of coffee just to keep me awake at work,’’ he said.

‘‘We are in search of emergency accommodation, whether it be at a caravan park or somewhere else. With mortgage repayments, I simply can’t just take the family to a motel.’’

Mr Delmo and others in Costerfield, near Heathcote, are waiting to find out when air and water monitoring will start after tests found several people in the area had raised antimony levels.

He was scathing about the Victorian Government’s slow reaction to the potential hazards his family faced.

A spokesperson for the State Development, Business and Innovation Department said Victorian Government agencies were aware of the community concerns about dust from the Costerfield mine and they were taking action to address those concerns.

The spokesperson said a consultant would be engaged to conduct independent testing of the contents of water tanks within 1.5km of the mine and report on any potential health risks.

‘‘The independent consultant will also carry out monitoring of air quality, which will measure the levels of particulates in the air,’’ the spokesperson said.

‘‘DSDBI, DoH and the EPA are determined to resolve this issue promptly and will keep the community informed.’’

A spokesperson for the Health Department said on the basis of the test results they had seen to date, there was no immediate threat to health.

‘‘But we will be looking at results of testing by DSDBI and will provide advice on this,’’ he said.

McIvor Times

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