The NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Resources Regulator has accepted an Enforceable Undertaking from Namoi Valley Bricks Pty Ltd in relation to unauthorised mining, a breach of Section 5 of the Mining Act.
Namoi Valley Bricks has been mining at the Wilga Park Clay Mine, near Gunnedah, since May 2007. While having obtained the relevant authorisation to mine in August 2017, it is alleged the company was non-compliant in the period between May 2007 and August 2017.
In April this year the company submitted an enforceable undertaking proposal to the NSW Resources Regulator – an enforceable undertaking can be proposed by a company following an alleged contravention and may be considered as an alternative to prosecution.
As part of the enforceable undertaking the company proposed to:
- Donate $10,000 to the Gunnedah Community Scholarship Fund which supports local young people to pursue tertiary studies;
- Pay the Department of Planning and Environment an agreed amount of $53,737 to cover royalties, administration and rental fees for the period of non-compliance;
- Pay $10,000 in costs.
In determining to accept the undertaking, the Regulator noted the alleged breach was not wilful or deliberate in that the company had been providing annual returns but had not been advised that a mining title was required until an audit confirmed this was in fact the case.
The Resources Regulator’s assessment said the state will be adequately compensated for the alleged activities carried out by the company over the period in question.
The Regulator also noted that the company fully cooperated with the regulator’s investigation and was forthcoming in providing all information when sought.
Compliance requirements will be strictly monitored by the Regulator.