Community and Environment
White Rock Minerals employs community engagement personnel as part of its team to work with local communities and ensure the Company meets and exceeds its obligations at all of its projects.
The directors and senior management of White Rock Minerals recognise the importance of responsible community engagement as an integral and essential part of its exploration activities, and integral to its future as a successful exploration and mineral development company. White Rock has a commitment to the communities in which it operates and considers that sound community engagement practices provide benefits for all stakeholders, including local residents, landowners, shareholders, employees, contractors and the broader community.
White Rock’s Community Engagement Policy recognises that all stakeholders with whom we engage have rights and deserve respect, and this guides the way that we collaborate with the communities and stakeholders with whom we work.
Exploration and mining activities in rural areas of Australia are often regarded with some concern by affected communities and stakeholders. To this end, working in the mining industry requires extensive engagement with a wide range of community members and organisations. A legacy of poor community engagement by previous exploration or mining companies makes the management of successful future operations a difficult task. White Rock has employed an experienced community engagement professional as part of its management team to work with the community and ensure White Rock meets and exceeds its obligation at Mt Carrington and other projects. White Rock has commenced proactively engaging with the community to contribute to the regional economy, support local employment where possible, and build community collaboration.
A Company Community Engagement Policy is in place.
Community Sponsorship Program
White Rock supports a number of community initiatives in the Drake district through its Community Sponsorship Program. Community groups are invited to apply for small grants or in kind support for projects which are demonstrated to have wide community benefit, are long term and build community capacity. Past recipients of Company support include the Drake Public School for their Stephanie Alexander Garden Project, the Drake Village Resource Centre, and the Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service which operates out of Lismore.
White Rock also publishes updates on the Mt Carrington exploration program in the monthly Drake Village Voice.
Mt Carrington Environmental Management Program
White Rock have established an ongoing environmental management program on the old mine site at Mt Carrington. This program was approved by the NSW Department of Resource and Energy under the current Mining Operations Plan and includes:
Operation of a reverse osmosis desalination plant (‘RO Plant’) which treats approximately 0.9 million litres of water per day from the old tailings dam. The high quality clean water (60% of total treated) is discharged into Sawpit Creek, and the reject saline water (40%) goes back into the dam for re-treatment. The water treatment plant operates on the basis of an 11 hour per day shift, 5 days per week. The water quality being generated and released is excellent, with all salts and metals removed. The water quality impurities are well below those levels specified in the Australian standards for drinking water.
Upgraded pumping of dams used to collect the acid mine drainage. A series of dams to collect the acid mine drainage (‘AMD’) from the large waste rock dump were constructed in the Humphries Creek catchment during the period of previous mine operations, 1987 – 1990. Since taking over the operation of the site White Rock have ensured that these dams remain near empty to allow for major rainfall events and to prevent overflow. To ensure a greater degree of pumping capability the previous diesel powered pump has been replaced with a new submersible pump operated off grid power. This will allow pumping on a 24 hour / 7 days per week basis should it be needed and has effectively tripled the existing pumping capacity. The dams have not overflowed since White Rock has been managing this site.
Monthly compliance water sampling of all creeks draining the mine site has been undertaken since White Rock assumed management of the Mt Carrington mining leases. This sampling provides the background data necessary to demonstrate the improvement in water quality which is expected following the installation and operation of the water treatment plant and the rehabilitation of the ROM waste dump. The sampling program has recently been expanded to provide background data on the creek draining the White Rock silver deposit, the creek draining the township of Drake and the upper part of the Plumbago Creek catchment.
Rehabilitation of the “run of mine” (ROM) waste dump in the Sawpit Creek catchment has been undertaken. This dump was generating substantial quantities of AMD which was impacting on water quality in Humphries Creek. This dump has now been re-profiled to batter angles of 17o and the surface has been re-modelled to facilitate better drainage of rain water. All worked areas have been coated in clay and then track rolled, and soil retained from the original clearing of the area has been re-spread. The surface of the ROM pad has naturally reseeded with native grasses.
White Rock has an Environmental Management Policy in place.
Mining Operation Plan
Mt Carrington is a site of historic mining with current mining tenements. White Rock operates the Mt Carrington project under a Care & Maintenance Mining Operations Plan (“MOP”) which addresses the management of environmental rehabilitation of previous mining and processing activities within the mining tenements.