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The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has completed the preliminary investigations into the reported chemical contamination at an abandoned site at Pennants, Clarendon which was used for a gold mining operation.

The following are major findings of the investigation.

• A leak from a container at the site was identified.

• The container was enclosed on site by berms, required as part of an Environmental Permit.

• The alleged contaminant appears to be confined to the premises

• There is no evidence that the chemical has contaminated the river and tributaries in the area.

The team has determined that the site poses no immediate threat to human health at this time. Citizens are advised to tether animals to prevent them from entering the site. The Director of Veterinary Services conducted an on-site postmortem of one bovine species (cow) which was found dead on site. Animal tissue was taken for further analysis. The multi-agency team also collected other samples for further analysis.

NEPA has requested that the local Police cordon off the area to caution human access and the public is hereby advised to refrain from entering the area until further advised.

AUSJAM Limited, the operators of the gold mine, received an Environmental Permit in 1997 to operate a mineral and metal processing plant. The operators abandoned the site and have not provided a closure plan for the operations in keeping with Environmental Permit requirements.

NEPA took enforcement action against AUSJAM by issuing a Notice of Intent to Suspend the Permit. The notice was published in the print media in July 2010. To date, the Agency has had no compliance from the operators who have relocated to Australia.