Northern Rivers mining lease cancelled after investigation

A NORTHERN Rivers mining lease has been cancelled by the Department of Planning and Environment's Resources Regulator after multiple licence breaches.

The regulator's chief compliance officer, Anthony Keon, said mining lease 613 was cancelled late last week.

It covered the area where the Nymboida Clay Pit once operated, about 45km south of Grafton.

Mr Keon said 16 grounds for cancellation of the mining lease were found during an ongoing investigation.

"Attempts to have the titleholder comply with simple regulations over a reasonable period of time were unsuccessful and as a result we have cancelled their authority to mine," he said.

"This is the third mining title we have cancelled in the last 12 months due to compliance issues.

"The Resources Regulator will take strong and decisive action where it is found that miners are operating outside of their legislative requirements.

"It is unfortunate it has had to come to this but in doing so we are sending a strong message that our standards or community expectations won't be compromised.

"The breaches range from failing to provide a mining operations plan, produce an annual environmental management report and rehabilitate the site.

"Of even more significance, there were occasions where the titleholder illegally mined outside of the mining lease boundary and ignored a statutory direction."

Despite the cancellation the titleholder will continue to be regulated by the Department in order to rehabilitate the site.

Further action, including the commencement of legal proceedings may be undertaken by the Department, where for example rehabilitation obligations remain unfulfilled.

The mining lease was first granted to the titleholder in May 1978 and was due for expiration or renewal in 2020.

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