Perth geoscience researcher Ben Collins has produced a report that reveals the industry is in a “danger zone” as the state struggles with severe flooding and a lack of mining equipment.
In a new report released by the geoscientist, he describes how Perth is in the midst of a “watershed” period, with significant mining activity occurring around the city.
He said Perth was the fourth most polluted city in the country.
“We’re just one city in Perth that’s been getting quite a lot of pollution from mining, but we’re also the fifth most polluted in the world,” he said.
“It’s very concerning.”
The Perth Geotechnic Association (PGA) said the report showed the industry was facing significant environmental and public health risks.
“This report confirms that mining in the Perth metropolitan area is an environmentally and socially damaging activity and it needs to be stopped,” the group said in a statement.
“The report also highlights that the industry has not adequately mitigated any of the risks associated with mining and the mining environment, and has failed to address the risks of its operation.”
The PGA also warned that mining was “highly volatile”, as there were no rules in place to prevent accidents.
“Mining operations are extremely unpredictable and can cause significant environmental, health and social impacts,” it said.
In 2014, a $1.6 billion project to mine a copper ore deposit in Western Australia’s Pilbara produced a record-breaking 1,917,878 tonnes of gold, which accounted for 14 per cent of the country’s total gold production.
Mr Collins said the industry needed to improve its safety and infrastructure, and the report found the Perth Mining Corporation (PMC) had been slow to implement a number of safety and environmental improvements.”PMC’s failure to adequately protect the community and respond to environmental and safety concerns is concerning,” he wrote.
“Inadequate infrastructure has led to extensive damage to the local communities.”
Mr Collins has been investigating the mining industry since his 2012 publication of Perth’s geotechoic report.
In that report, he said there was a lack to properly monitor and manage the impact of mining operations on local waterways and the environment.
“They need to invest in a plan to reduce their risks, including a better monitoring of their operations and monitoring of local communities,” he told the ABC.
“If they’re not going to do that, I think they’re going to lose out to other mining communities who have a greater awareness and awareness.”
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