Contradictions in regional plan for Valla Rural

THE release of the NSW Government’s draft North Coast Regional Plan has created nervous ripples throughout the Valla Rural community, which sits squarely in the middle of what has been marked as an area of ‘potential mineral resource’.

This morning (Monday) social media lit up with links to the plan, which curiously highlights some of the same area as ‘proposed urban land’.

Nambucca Shire General Manager, Michael Coulter, said staff was looking into the apparent conflict between the two maps.

“We have a meeting scheduled for Thursday in Valla and I hope to have more advice to be able to give the community by then,” Mr Coulter said.

He said there was an exploration licence for molybdenum (a valuable alloying agent, used to increase the toughness of quenched and tempered steels) covering some of the area however it was due to expire next year.

“On the face of it, major mining would be difficult given the approval of the growth area and all the rural residential development.”

The Valla social media network later added a contact name and phone number for what was described as “the company trying to get a mining licence for Valla”.

The Guardian followed the lead, which revealed that Hexagon Resources was the company in question.

Its CEO, Tony Cormack, confirmed the company did have an exploration lease for the area but was not planning to make an application for a mining licence.

“We have had an extension of terms for the licence (previously due to expire in 2017) however the directors have made no decision yet as to future plans,” Mr Cormack said.

“We are certainly not progressing to a mining lease.”

Nambucca Shire councillors will hold their scheduled meeting at the Valla Hall from 5.30pm on Thursday.