THE controversial goldmine in Bukit Koman near Raub, Pahang, that has drawn flak over the content of hydrogen cyanide in its air has been declared safe by the Department of Environment (DOE).
In a statement to The Malay Mail, the department said the goldmine had been monitored extensively since it began operations.
“Raub Australia Gold Mine Sdn Bhd (RAGM) has been found to conform to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the regulations under it."
Three locations in the vicinity of the goldmine, which were the children’s playground, a nearby residential area and the Bukit Koman public hall opposite SJK(C) Yuh Wah, had been monitored from 2010 until last year.
The DOE said, "Each reading was below the 4.7 parts per million (ppm) standard for safety and workers health set by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health."
The department said the readings were also well below the 10ppm standard set by the Cyanide Management Guidelines of the Department of Mineral and Energy, Western Australia.
“The Department of Environment has enacted continuous daily monitoring beginning January 2013 for a period of six months and until today continues to find the hydrogen cyanide levels conforming to standards.”
The Malay Mail reported last week that cyanide was detected in the air around the Bukit Koman goldmine.
The DOE had been criticised by Raub residents and Ban Cyanide Action Committee movement over its readings, which they said were taken a kilometre from the plant when it could have been placed closer, as there were homes in Kampung Bukit Koman only 200m from the mine.
The 10ppm maximum permissible level had also been criticised as being a limit meant for employees who were being compensated for the exposure they experienced to hazardous chemicals for eight hours a day, rather than residents who would be exposed to the cyanide 24 hours a day.