Regulator suspends mining lease at Broula near Cowra

A mine, believed to have already been mothballed, 20km from Cowra has been shut down temporarily after the Resources Regulator suspended the titleholder’s mining lease for multiple licence breaches.

Abterra Australia Pty Ltd were issued a suspension notice on March 7, 2018 for mining lease 1616 (Mining Act 1992), which covers the area where the Broula Magnetite and Limestone mine operates, located approximately 20 kilometres west of Cowra on the Grenfell Road.

The Resources Regulator’s Chief Compliance Officer Anthony Keon said 18 grounds for suspending the mining lease were found during an ongoing investigation.

“The titleholder failed to comply with simple regulations over an ongoing period of time and as a result we have suspended their authority to mine,” Mr Keon said.

“The breaches range from failing to provide mining operations plans, produce annual environmental management reports and late payments of rental fees and levies.

“The Regulator has reached an in-principle commitment with the titleholder to bring them back into compliance and we will closely monitor their progress over the next three months.

“If the titleholder fails to meet their requirements we will give further consideration to cancelling their mining lease.” 

The Resources Regulator has cancelled three mining titles in the past 12 months due to compliance issues.

The Regulator will consider lifting the suspension once the titleholder provides a detailed report that addresses any future proposed mining operations, and is otherwise compliant with their regulatory obligations.

Failure to comply with the suspension may result in a maximum penalty of $1,100,000 for a company and $220,000 for an individual.

Under the suspension notice the titleholder is only allowed to carry out activities required to maintain a safe workplace or to undertake environmental rehabilitation at the site.

The mining lease was transferred to the titleholder in August 2011 and is set to expire on March 31, 2029.