HISTORIC areas of Stawell will be restricted with temporary fencing in place to deter access to sections where calcine sands are being managed.
Calcine sands is a form of mine tailings that are identifiable by their red or purple colour, which were left behind following the extraction of gold from rocks during historic gold mining activity.
The samples found the sands contained elevated levels of arsenic, a heavy metal that occurs naturally through the Goldfields and central Victoria. If swallowed or ingested, arsenic can be harmful to human health.
Parks Victoria released a statement outlining the works to minimise potential risks to human health and the environment.
"After covering the suspected calcine sands earlier this year and installing signage, Parks Victoria is putting in place temporary fencing to prevent access to exposed areas," the statement read.
"Exposed sands are being covered by mulch to prevent them being spread by the wind. Additional signage will be installed and nearby residents will again be contacted.
"These temporary measures, as directed by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria and supported by the Northern Grampians Shire and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, will remain in place until a full assessment of the two historic areas can be completed.
"This assessment will commence later this year and help determine how calcine sands are managed into the future."
Parks Victoria's statement also read majority of the two historic areas would remain open to the public, however people are advised to observe signage and stay off areas that have had access restricted.
"Visitors are reminded of the public health measures in place across regional Victoria, including physical distancing, the wearing of face masks, and that there are only four reasons for leaving home," it read.
Residents wanting further information on living with mine tailings/calcine sands could find more in the EPA publication, "Are you living in an area with mine tailings?" https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/1706.
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