Several people were formally accused of theft and unsafely extracting commodities.
Authorities recently caught 20 individuals who allegedly stole 30 tonnes of high-grade ore from multiple Kalgoorlie mine sites. They face more than 55 charges including possessing stolen or unlawfully obtained gold-bearing ore as well as possession of firearms, ammunition and illicit drugs.
The Western Australian Police Force slammed the outback bikie mining ring for having “little” regard for others’ wellbeing while extracting and refining gold. Officers said incorrectly mixing dangerous chemicals in their “amateur” refinery could have brought “catastrophic consequences” for the local community.
“It was all about their greed and self-interest. The actions of those involved were selfish and idiotic,” State Police Minister Paul Papalia said according to the Australian Associated Press.
Investigators suspect the product was intended to be sold. Proceeds were believed to be used to purchase methyl amphetamine and other drugs that would then be sold for profit.