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Contravention of Mining Act charges for Mudgee Stone

contravention of mining act - mudgee stone to face court again
Mudgee stone will face court again in relation to contravention of the Mining Act.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Resources Regulator has commenced prosecution proceedings against Mudgee Stone Co Pty Ltd and one of its directors for an alleged contravention of the Mining Act.

The Regulator will allege that unauthorised mining and breaches of prohibition notices took place at the quarry which is a contravention of mining act.

The cases are set down for first mention in the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday 9 July 2019.

The alleged offences carry a maximum penalty for the company of up to $1.1 million and $110,000 for each day of a continuing offence. The director could also be liable to a fine of up to $220,000 and $22,000 for each day of a continuing offence.

As the matter is now before the Court, further details will not be released.

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Last year Mudgee Stone was forced to pay $100,000 following an investigation and prosecution by the Resources Regulator, relating to mining without authorisation at the Oberon White Granite Quarry.

Mudgee Stone Co Pty Ltd was convicted of the offence under Section 5 of the Mining Act 1992 for mining feldspathic material without authorisation, fined $60,000 and ordered to pay the Prosecutor’s costs in the amount of $40,000.

The court found that, between 2 February 2015 and 31 March 2016, Mudgee Stone mined over 36,000 tonnes of the material from the quarry.

In addition, the court also found that Mr Robert Murdoch, a director of Mudgee Stone Co Pty Ltd, contravened Section 378A of the Mining Act by obstructing an inspector.

The court released Mr Murdoch, without conviction, pursuant to a conditional release order for a period of two years.  Mr Murdoch was ordered to pay the Prosecutor’s costs of $8,000.

The Resources Regulator’s Chief Compliance Officer Anthony Keon welcomed the judgment.

“This is another reminder for our industry that mining with authorisation will have serious consequences,” Mr Keon said.

“The Regulator has actively engaged with Mudgee Stone over a protracted period to resolve the issue, however the company failed to obtain the appropriate approvals.

“The successful prosecution has resulted in significant penalties for the company and highlights the need for operators to ensure they understand and comply with all aspects of the Mining Act.

“The successful prosecution of Mr Murdoch also highlights the need for operators to understand that investigators and inspectors from the Resources Regulator have statutory powers to investigate alleged breaches, and the Resources Regulator takes the obstruction of its officers very seriously.”

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AMSJ April 2022