A Wauchope-based miner, Macquarie Marble and Lime Pty Ltd, is back in operation after it was ordered to shut down over non-payment of its environmental rehabilitation security deposit.
The NSW Resources Regulator issued a suspension notice on April 10 after the miner failed to lodge the required deposit.
That suspension was lifted on April 13 after confirmation that the balance of the total security had been paid, acting chief compliance officer with NSW resources regulator, Anthony Keon, said.
“The decision to lift the suspension was made after the deposit was fully paid and the mine is back in operation,” Mr Keon said.
“The suspension was taken in order to get the company back in compliance. We want to foster and support industry but we have to draw the line. In this instance we have actively worked with the titleholder.
“We had to take action to force the issue; that action proved to be successful,” he said.
Mr Keon confirmed that there is the potential for further sanctions. This included prosecution action down to an official caution.
All matters are dealt with on case by case basis and on their merits, he said.
Mr Keon also confirmed that the penalty for corporations attracts a maximum penalty of $1.1m and a continuing offence condition liable to a maximum of $110,000 for each day the offence continues.
“This is how serious the government takes these kinds of offences,” he added.
Mr Keon conceded that the mine ‘had not been on our radar’.
“We don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to shut down a mining operation. We really do view it as a last resort.”
Environmental rehabilitation security deposits – $85,000 in the case of Macquarie Marble and Lime Pty Ltd – are required for all mining leases in NSW.
The security bonds ensure the state government is not left with the rehabilitation bill should a mining authorisation holder default on their obligations.
The mine is sited near the Wauchope cemetery and covers about 13.12 hectares. It mines agricultural lime, dolomite, limestone and phosphates.
Macquarie Marble and Lime Pty Ltd was contacted for comment.