Those with an interest in protecting Coffs Harbour's water supply from the Orara River are invited to meet in Karangi Hall this Monday night.
Those with an interest in protecting Coffs Harbour's water supply from the Orara River are invited to meet in Karangi Hall this Monday night. Bruce Thomas

Dialogue starts between Coffs Catchment Coalition and Altius

COFFS Catchment Coalition Inc will meet at Karangi Public School at 7pm this Monday night and preliminary discussions held with gold prospecting company Altius Mining will be on the agenda.

Coalition president Cheryl Dooley said Altius CEO Graeme Fraser had responded to correspondence and she was pleased a dialogue was underway.

"We had about a 15 minute chat and he was quite reasonable to talk to," she said.

"A geologist as well as an executive, Mr Fraser told me Altius haven't done any drilling in the Karangi tenement during 2013.

"But they hope to do geophysical work by way of electronic surveying and ground magnetics and it is also possible they will do some drilling.

"Mr Fraser's feeling is it would be 5-10 years before any real mining took place if they find it to be a worthwhile area to work."

Altius have three main areas of interest - Ilabo, Coramba King and Taylors Creek (Beacon Mines) - with all thought to be on NSW State Forest land.

"I said we wanted to hear their side of the story and that people were concerned about open cut mining," Ms Dooley said.

"Mr Fraser agreed to let us know when his people are coming here and if he or anyone suitable comes up, they are happy to meet with the committee.

"We feel it is very important that the residents of the Orara Valley and Coffs Harbour - given it's their water supply - are aware of what is happening."

She said her organisation is made up of volunteers and would welcome new members at Monday night's meeting.

"We are very pleased to have started a dialogue with Altius and are hopeful that, just as groups like Save Our Macleay River have been recognised as stakeholders, that Coffs Catchment Coalition Inc will also be considered as such and kept informed of developments.

"In turn, we can keep the general public informed.

"We also recommend people add one of our Lock The Gate signs to their property, to ensure any mining company interested needs to properly negotiate entry with them.

"If people in the area could also keep their eye out for activity, that would be great.

"We have recently been informed of a new road that may be logging but may also be something to do with this exploration activity."