Chance smelter dross could move before Christmas

Mataura Mill. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Mataura Mill. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Another mediation date has been set as progress is made to remove a hazardous substance stockpiled in Mataura.

It will be the seventh conference between the Environmental Defence Society, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters and interested parties.

Yesterday, Environment Judge Laurie Newhook said constructive progress continued for plans to remove the aluminium smelter dross, from the old riverside Mataura paper mill.

‘‘Finalisation of the several necessary contracts is imminent, considerable progress having been made in the last week.’’

The paper mill sits on the banks of the Mataura River; the dross generates clouds of toxic ammonia gas if it gets wet.

Dross was first stored at the site in 2014 — under an old agreement, the 10,000 tonnes would have been gone by 2022.

Logistical arrangement on the removal activities were ‘‘now in hand’’.

In an earlier statement, Judge Newhook said the dross would be removed to an industrial site.

He said it could be moved by Christmas.

The next conference had been scheduled to be held on Thursday, November 12.

laura.smith@alliedpress.co.nz

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