Noise complaints trigger investigation at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine in Australia
(Kitco News) - Kirkland Lake Gold, a senior gold producer, today reported that the company has been advised by the Environmental Protection Authority ("EPA") Victoria of the Victorian Government that the EPA has determined that low-level frequency noise (in the range of 16-20 Hz) is being emitted by the Fosterville mine.
Kirkland Lake Gold said that the EPA has provided the company with a Notice to Investigate and an Improvement Notice focused on the low-level frequency noise which it believes is emanating from the mine.
"Included within the notices are stated timelines covering a period of just over two months for investigating and resolving the issue of low-frequency noise as well as reporting to the EPA on modifications introduced and new testing completed," the company noted in a statement.
Also, Kirkland Lake Gold pointed out that the EPA has indicated to the company that additional action may be taken by the EPA that could result in restrictions on the use of certain equipment, primarily surface ventilation fans and surface drill rigs in the south portion of the mining lease, during the night, while the remediation period is completed.
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"The potential impact of such measures on the Fosterville operations, should they be introduced, is currently being investigated," the company added.
Kirkland Lake Gold said that management at Fosterville has been aware of concerns expressed by residents in recent months regarding low-level frequency noise and has taken steps to evaluate and address these concerns.
"As part of these efforts, Fosterville commissioned two independent studies on noise levels produced by the mine. The studies were completed by accredited noise and acoustic specialist firms based in Australia, with both studies concluding that all mine generated noise was within regulatory limits," the company noted.
The company added it is working with the EPA to better understand the grounds for the notices being issued and will take the necessary steps to ensure its operations are, and remain, in compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements.