22nd August 2017

NSW mining companies have been placed on notice to ensure their environmental rehabilitation security deposits are fully paid after a mine in the west of the state had its licences cancelled last week.

The Department of Planning and Environment’s Resources Regulator has cancelled mining leases ML56, ML57 and ML620 of Bourke mining operation, Far Western Stone Quarries, with all work to cease at the site by November 17.

The only work that can take place at the mine until November 17 is the removal of existing stockpiles and rehabilitation of the site.

Chief Compliance Officer Anthony Keon said the cancellation of the licences was due to ongoing compliance issues under the Mining Act, including the non-payment of security deposits, rents and levies, and the failure to supply annual environmental reports.

“We haven’t taken this decision lightly and the department has been engaging with the titleholder over an extended period in attempt to resolve the issues,” Mr Keon said.

“But, at the end of the day, it was clear they were not prepared to meet the minimum mine operating standards expected by the community and required by law.

“We were left with no other option than cancellation of the mining leases.”

Mr Keon said the action sends a clear message to recalcitrant mining leaseholders. “The regulator has a range of enforcement tools and will take strong and decisive action where it is found that miners are operating outside of their legislative obligations,"