Miner shatters Julimar residents’ dreams
By Michael Sinclair-Jones
DUST, noise and a massive open-cut mine planned next to their homes have dismayed a group of Julimar residents who say their bush lifestyle dreams have been destroyed.
The affected residents include artists and writers (pictured right) who say their properties have been ruined and lives permanently disrupted – with worse to come.Read more
They live in the Moondyne area of west Julimar amid gently rolling hills and trees in what was until recently an idyllic setting.
That was before Perth-based Chalice Mining bought 2500ha (6200 acres) of nearby farmland to build a Kalgoorlie-sized super pit, starting in 2026.
The miner says it currently houses up to 30 workers at the site and averages 72 vehicle movements a day, seven days a week, on 2.3km of unsealed Keating Road that links local residents’ homes to the outside world.
One family says dust has affected the health of their three-year-old son who travels the same road twice a day to attend pre-school.
Another local resident who runs a bush writers’ retreat on a 30ha (75 acres) property said Chalice had offered them $300,000 in compensation while farmers with land needed for mining got millions of dollars.
“Such a small amount of money wouldn’t buy even a 200sqm block in Balga,” she said.
“We grow our own vegies and the dust gets into everything, even the dog bowl,” a third resident with an art gallery and pottery said.
Ä couple with their own vineyard said their plans for bush chalet accommodation for up to 40 guests for weddings were now ruined.
“We came here to build our dream homes and live creative lifestyles in a pristine environment and now this,” one owner said.
A Chalice spokesperson said all land purchases and offers were based on a “dollar per hectare purchase price metric calculated at a substantial premium to market”.
“Larger farming properties have been acquired for a much higher price than smaller properties,” Chalice said.
The miner had set a 60km/h speed limit for workers on Keating Road and was operating a daily water cart on the gravel surface.
Dust levels measured from April to June were within national air quality guidelines and would be further monitored this summer.
Noise levels would be assessed next year when State mining approvals were sought.