Resources Regulator Puts Industry On Notice

The Earth Resources Regulator is highlighting recent examples of non-compliance to send a message to operators in the minerals and quarry sectors to comply with the regulations that enable their commercial activities.

Recently a minerals exploration company was forced to stop work to address a number of licence conditions that had not been met. The company’s planned minerals exploration activity north of Melbourne was put on hold as a result of the requirement to stop work.

The compliance action was due to several aspects including an outstanding rehabilitation bond payment, a failure to register landholder compensation agreements and providing insufficient technical details.

Earlier this month Inspectors found a gravel quarry operator in eastern Victoria had extracted material outside their approved area. The Earth Resources Regulator issued a stop work notice to cease unapproved activities and submit a plan for the rehabilitation of the area.

In western Victoria a sand quarry operator was found to have failed to conduct an adequate review of their tailings dam, where waste material is stored.

Compliance with set conditions for tailings and waste storage is critical to ensure that structures function as designed and do not pose an unacceptable risk to the surrounding area.

The Earth Resources Regulator has also issued a remedial notice requiring the operator of a hard rock quarry in northern Victoria to cease extraction that is placing long-term stability of the site at risk.

Work will now be required to reinstate the approved angle of the pit slope, which is critical to ensuring the final structure is safe.

Operating conditions issued by the Earth Resources Regulator are in place to ensure that activities being undertaken do not pose unacceptable risks to the community, infrastructure or the environment.

Resolution of all these issues found by the Earth Resources Regulator will mean operators incurring extra expense and delay, which could have been avoided with higher levels of diligence and compliance with their approved plans.

Quotes attributable to Resources Victoria CEO Matt Vincent

“Operators across Victoria’s resources sector must do the right thing and comply with regulations to be entrusted to develop and extract the state’s minerals and quarry materials.”

“Most operators in the resources sector across the state are working hard, meeting all their obligations and performing to a high standard – the Earth Resources Regulator is focussed on those falling short of this benchmark to ensure their poor practices don’t put the environment, infrastructure and communities at risk.”

“Industry will see us continue to promote our increased use of notices to formalise our requirements when we find risks not being managed appropriately or authority holders not complying with their Work Plans, a strong and active regulator reflects well on the broader resources sector.”

/Public Release. View in full here.