The New South Wales (NSW) Resources Regulator has accepted a Mining Act enforceable undertaking from Total Minerals and Total Iron in relation to the Cangai Copper Project near Grafton, Australia.
The alleged breaches included unauthorised drilling, not disposing of drilling waste properly and failing to prevent erosion and chemical or fuel spillages and resulted in both companies being issued suspension notices.
The total value of the undertaking is AU$91,000, which includes a AU$55,000 payment to the Clarence Valley District NSW Rural Fire Service for bushfire prevention and response activities.
The enforceable undertaking also requires the companies to deliver compliance training to all employees and contractors, commission an independent audit, develop and implement revised quality assurance protocols and pay the Regulator’s costs (AU$23,000).
The Regulator alleged that between 1 December 2017 and 22 November 2018 the two companies contravened the Mining Act by failing to meet conditions of exploration licences 8625 and 8635.
Resources Regulator Acting Director of Compliance Steve Orr said mining authorisations carry strict compliance responsibilities.
“The community expects companies like Total Minerals and Total Iron to be aware of their legal and environmental obligations and have appropriate systems in place to ensure compliance,” Mr Orr said.
“The terms of the undertaking deliver tangible benefits to the community and the environment whilst ensuring the companies improve their compliance systems.”
The companies have also spent approximately AU$300,000 taking steps to rehabilitate the affected sites to mitigate any environmental harm caused by the unapproved activities.
A copy of the enforceable undertaking and reasons for decision can be found here.