Nambucca Valley residents gather to discuss antimony mining in the Valley

Paula Flack and Lotus Cavagnino from Lock the Nambucca Valley at Tuesday’s community meeting.

ON Tuesday night, more than 130 people, mostly local residents, met at a meeting organised by local anti-mining group Lock the Nambucca Valley (LNV) at the Macksville Ex-Services Club to listen and ask questions to speakers on the topic of a mining exploration licence to mine antimony in the Nambucca Valley.

Mining Exploration Licence 9235 has been issued to Summit Minerals and encompasses an area in the Taylors Arm and South Arm districts.

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“The Mining Act is not a ‘community-friendly’ Act,” Lock the Nambucca Valley representative Lotus Cavagnino told the crowd.

“The only power we have as landowners is to refuse entry to our properties and to link up with other like-minded people and other community groups in opposing any mining in our area.”

Two contracted community engagement officers were in attendance – Nerida Watson and Thomas Boneham – to gather and report feedback to Summit, the company holding the exploration licence.

The contractors also spoke and took questions from the group, however many queries went unanswered as the representatives were uninformed on many issues raised by the audience.

Other speakers included Christa Schwoebel from Save our Macleay River, who spoke of the residual arsenic and other environmental issues experienced in the Macleay Valley after closure of an antimony mine.

Many of the locals present were concerned with environmental issues, raising topics such as the need to consult with the local oyster industry, water quality on generational farms and the Nambucca River’s fragile ecosystem.

Others mentioned the need to consult with local Indigenous elders.

“Our clean air and water are worth more than any money you could pay,” declared one attendee, urging the representatives from Summit to report that feedback to their employers.

Others questioned the financial viability of any mining in the Nambucca Valley considering the size of antimony deposits believed to be there and the costs involved.

The meeting concluded with Paula Flack, the event’s Chairperson, reading a statement asserting the group’s position that they “oppose any mining exploration or mining activities in the Nambucca Valley” due to the threat they would pose to “water quality, aquatic ecosystems, local biodiversity, agricultural land, social amenity, property rights and the local road network”.

Residents who have recently been issued with paperwork asking them to grant access to mining exploratory activities were advised to seek legal advice before signing anything.

It was a passionate meeting for many who attended and the group believed they sent a clear message to Summit that any mining activities in the pristine ecological corridor of the Nambucca Valley will be met with fierce and united opposition.


Community engagement officers Nerida Watson and Thomas Boneham, contractors representing Summit Minerals.

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