Metals Container Testing Update

Metals Container Testing Update

Western Australia Minister for Environment Bill Marmion

Update On Testing Of Magellan Metals Containers At Fremantle Port

Victor P Taffa

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has advised the State Government that Magellan Metals Shipping Containers sitting at Fremantle Port are safe to export and pose no threat to Public Health.

Laboratory Analysis of surface swabs taken from the containers last week by the Department of Environment and Conservation has confirmed the presence of low levels of lead on the outside of some containers but the detected lead was well below levels of Public Health concern.

Minister for Environment Bill Marmion said the Stop Order on Shipments from the mine to Fremantle would remain.

“The Health of the Community of Western Australia is the State Government’s first priority.” Mr. Marmion said.

The Minister confirmed isotopic analysis or ‘fingerprinting’ by the WA ChemCentre had identified lead in some of the swab samples as lead carbonate dust from the Magellan mine near Wiluna.

“Six of the 32 samples taken January 3-5 showed lead concentrations on the outside of Magellan containers that were within or above the background levels for non-Magellan containers sampled at the Port.” Mr. Marmion said.

“However, I stress the levels are below that of Public Health Concern.”

“The tested samples ranged from 0.049ug/cm2 to 0.11ug/cm2, which is well below DEC’s clean-up standard of 50ug/cm2 for hard surfaces in Ports.” Mr. Marmion said.

“I have asked DEC in consultation with the Department of Heath to then provide a detailed report to me next Tuesday.”

“I also note that Magellan Metals has announced it reviewed tests carried out on lead discovered inside its containers last year and say there were errors. OEPA will conduct its own analysis and therefore the Government is not in a position to verify the findings and the Stop Order remains in place.” Mr. Marmion said.