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 said M(C)L 213, an open cut opal mining lease on two hectares of land 54 kilometres north east of White Cliffs in New South Wales, has been cancelled.

“The Department has been engaging with the lease holder since 2014 in an attempt to secure payment of the AU$10,000 security deposit and bring the lease holder back into compliance with their legislative obligations,” Mr Orr said.

“Unfortunately, the lease holder 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 said.

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 takes any failure to provide full security deposits very seriously.

The Regulator’s decision can be found here.