The NSW Resources Regulator has cancelled the mining lease of an outback opal miner for failing to pay a rehabilitation security deposit.
All mines in NSW are required to pay a security deposit to cover the cost of mine rehabilitation obligations. This requirement ensures that the State does not incur financial liabilities in the event of an authorisation holder defaulting on their rehabilitation obligations.
Resources Regulator Acting Director of Compliance, Steve Orr, confirmed that M(C)L 213, an open cut opal mining lease on two hectares of land 54 kilometres northeast of White Cliffs, has been cancelled.
“The Department has been engaging with the leaseholder since 2014 in an attempt to secure payment of the $10,000 security deposit and bring the leaseholder back into compliance with their legislative obligations,” Mr Orr said.
“Unfortunately, the leaseholder has not responded to this regulatory engagement and, in the absence of a commitment to return to compliance, has left us with no alternative but to cancel the mining lease.”
“We haven’t taken this decision lightly, but at the end of the day, they have not met the minimum mine operating standards expected by the community and required by law. In these instances, the Regulator will use any and all of the enforcement tools available to ensure these standards are upheld,” Mr Orr commented.
Environmental rehabilitation security deposits and requirements for progressive rehabilitation during the life of a mine are part of the regulatory framework which ensures a viable and sustainable mining industry in NSW.
The NSW Resources Regulator states that it takes any failure to provide full security deposits seriously.
The cancellation does not preclude the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment from taking other regulatory action against the leaseholder.