DRILL SIGHT: Workers at the Glenugie coal seam gas site in front of some of the machinery.
DRILL SIGHT: Workers at the Glenugie coal seam gas site in front of some of the machinery. Adam Hourigan

Spill at drilling site not toxic, says Metgasco PR man

METGASCO has denied a toxic substance was spilled during drilling at its Glenugie coal seam gas site on Sunday.

The company's external relations manager, Richard Shields, said a "minor leak" of harmless drilling mud occurred but was "contained and disposed of as per industry procedures".

He said the mud, used to lubricate the drill, consisted of water and a naturally occurring clay called bentonite.

He insisted it was not harmful.

"Bentonite is not toxic and has applications in the agricultural and medical industry. It is used to line dams, to stop water leaks and is also used to improve and condition soil," he said.

Last week, a drill was broken at the site and anti-CSG activists claimed both incidents as wins on the Glenugie Action Ongoing Facebook page.

One protester described the incidents as a "comedy of errors" and criticised the lack of drilling progress made.

"[N]ot even 1cm was being made (on Thursday)," they said.

"This you could tell by lining up the drill head with the red cage around it.

"Their persistence in the face of what proved to be futile was impressive."

Metgasco would not reveal how the drill was broken.

Protesters who have been occupying the Glenugie site for the past seven weeks said they were "more determined than ever" to stop the drilling.



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