The phrase "as good as gold" came into use in the 1820s when banknotes were first introduced and there was scepticism about their genuine value. Gold was considered to have inherent value, and it still does.
The gold at Dargues Gold Mine, Majors Creek, NSW holds intrinsic value to Unity Mining and its shareholders, certainly, but the $250 million project also represents prosperity for the Majors Creek region.
Jobs, education and training flow on to local businesses, and investment in local infrastructure and community life follow. .
Review of where the precious metal from Dargues Gold Mine will be processed came following the change in ownership from Cortona Resources to Unity Mining Limited in 2013.
While on-site ore processing has always been a feature of the approved project, Unity's detailed reviews and studies made it very clear that final processing and gold recovery at Dargues is the best and safest way forward.
I acknowledge the issue about trust and I understand that change may not be comfortable.I also recognise that cyanide has a historic reputation.
However, gold processing using cyanide leaching can be done safely. We know this because we do it at our Henty Gold Minein the mountainous area of the Henty Valley on the west coast of Tasmania, adjacent to the Southwest Conservation Area.
It is safe and we the company has used this practice for many years without incident. We are proud to demonstrate this and will take a number of local residents to Henty to view the processing procedure in the next few weeks.
I understand that this was not part of the originally approved plan, however the planning modification process allows for everyone's input.
This initiative will bring significant prosperity at a time when employment opportunities in the region are scarce. Dargues is planned to have a six-year life based on current reserves, including a 12-month construction period and five years in operation.
The project will generate about 100 jobs during construction and 120 residential jobs during the operation of the mine. There will be opportunities for local small businesses to gear up to service these needs and for the potential revival of the area's 1850s gold-mining history as a local attraction.
There is some misinformation about the source of gold to be processed at Dargues. Only gold mined at the Dargues Gold Mine will be processed on site.
Jobs, education and training flow on to local businesses.CEO of United Mining, Andrew McIlwain.
There is also misinformation about other chemical elements that may be involved. As with the soil in your garden, there are naturally occurring trace elements brought up with the gold.
These are in minute quantities and will be contained safely in the lined tailings storage facility.
I am visiting Braidwood and Moruya for community sessions to answer any questions on December 16 and 17
You can contact me any time via email at email@example.com or call the Dargues Info Line on 1800 732 002.
Local gold will bring prosperity to your local community. What I ask is that you consider the modification that Unity is proposing with the same rigour that you apply to other decisions that you make for the benefit of your family and the community in which you live.
Andrew McIlwain is the chief executive of Unity Mining Limited.