5th June 2017

In a first for NSW, a mining lease for a dimension stone mine in the state’s north has been cancelled by the Department of Planning and Environment due to ongoing compliance issues.

The Department’s Resources Regulator yesterday cancelled mining lease M(C)L 146, 14 kilometres south-west of Tenterfield, which was first granted in 1994. However, ongoing issues related to compliance left the Resources Regulator with no option.

The leaseholder was told this week the mining lease would be cancelled immediately due to four key issues. These were:

  • failing to pay the required environmental rehabilitation security deposit;
  • failing to lodge a plan of management for the mine;
  • not providing the Department with annual reports; and
  • failing to mine the lease effectively or in good faith.

Acting Chief Compliance Officer Anthony Keon said that while the decision was a first for NSW, the Resources Regulator had no alternative.

“We haven’t taken this decision lightly. It comes after many years of trying to resolve the issues directly with the leaseholder,” Mr Keon said.

“But, at the end of the day, it was clear he was 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 lease.”

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.”