All the latest in NSW mine rehabilitation and environment news
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2 December 2020
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We have released a short animation highlighting the key elements of the mine rehabilitation framework, including legal obligations, the role of rehabilitation security bonds and the Regulator’s role in monitoring compliance.

NSW Resources Regulator Director Compliance, Steve Orr, said mine rehabilitation is a key priority for the NSW Government and is an important part of ensuring mining projects are environmentally sustainable.

“There are strong laws in place to ensure mines are rehabilitated to achieve an approved final land use and the Resources Regulator actively monitors mining activities to ensure compliance."
Click here to read the full story and watch the video

An innovative case study of successful rehabilitation at Westside Mine

Thirty-eight hectares of the north pit area, known as ‘Domain 2’ at the former Westside Mine at Wakefield have been successfully rehabilitated, resulting in a bushland outcome with some retained access tracks and small dams. 

To capture this achievement, we developed a case study using a range of technologies including drone footage, field mapping tools and 360 interactive videos.
Click here to read the full story and view the case study

Drone technology used to target illegal fossicking

We have teamed up with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to target illegal fossicking in the Torrington State Conservation Area.

Signs have been installed in the conservation area encouraging reporting of illegal fossicking, and drone technology will be used to detect the practice being carried out.

Fossicking is a lawful activity in NSW however, recent reports suggest that some fossickers in the Torrington State Conservation area are using powered equipment which is prohibited under the fossicking guidelines and the mining laws.

Read more

Investigation into alleged illegal mining

On 16 November 2020, accompanied by NSW Police, we entered a property on Rickey’s Lane, Sapphire (near Inverell) after it was suspected that illegal mining was occurring on the property.

Upon entry, we observed two persons operating a large excavator and a dump truck in the vicinity of Frazers Creek. 

Three buckets of washed rock that contained blue stones, believed to be sapphires were found. Other stones believed to contain sapphires were observed in the trommel. The stones were seized by the Regulator for further examination.
Click here to read the full story and Investigation Information Release

Fact sheet - Minister's review of assessed security deposit

We have prepared a fact sheet to provide industry with information about seeking a review by the Minister of the security deposit determined by the Secretary of the Department. To seek a review, holders of exploration licences and mining leases must lodge an application with the Resources Regulator within 28 days after receiving written notice from the Secretary of the assessment security deposit.
View the fact sheet

Operational Rehabilitation Reforms

Public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Mining Regulation 2016 to improve mine rehabilitation outcomes has now been completed with submissions closing on 6 November 2020. We received 20 written submissions from interested parties and stakeholders which have been published on our website.

Next steps?
All submissions, including online forms and feedback received during public consultation will be considered to finalise the regulation and form and way documents for approval.
Read the submissions

Exploration companies convicted and fined

Mining exploration companies AU Exploration Pty Ltd (AU Exploration) and NBH Resources Pty Ltd (NBH Resources) will have to pay $15,500 in fines and costs after being convicted of breaching the state’s mining.

On September 11, the Broken Hill Local Court convicted and fined both companies for offences under the Mining Act 1992 in relation to unauthorised exploration drilling on two adjoining properties approximately 65km north of Broken Hill.
Read more

Latest compliance audit reports

We routinely undertake compliance audits of mining operations and exploration activities to assess whether titleholders are meeting their compliance requirements and to identify opportunities for improvement.
Our most recent compliance audit reports can be viewed below:
View all our audit reports

Environmental awareness training moves online

The Lightning Ridge Environmental Awareness course is essential for those seeking to hold a mineral claim in Opal Prospecting Area 4 or on the property 'Wyoming'. 

Previously only available face-to-face, the 40 minute training has moved online, on-demand, to accommodate self-directed learning. The course provides an overview on how to minimise damage to the environment whilst conducting exploration and mining activities in Lightning Ridge.
Access the training

New online forms available and information webinars

To improve the way we assess and respond to applications, we have launched our Mining Act User Portal and new online forms.

Online forms allow data to be submitted directly into our management system, making the assessment process faster. 
We’ve released two online forms, available now on the Portal:
  • Statement of compliance, environmental performance and financial history – replacing the PDF and “smart form” version.
  • Application to undertake assessable prospecting operations – replacing the ESF4 Application to conduct exploration activities for assessable prospecting operations.
Paper based forms can still be obtained by contacting us on 1300 814 609 (option 2, then 5) or downloading them via the forms page on our website.
Information webinars - Regulator Portal - Introduction and User Guide
We will provide an overview of the new Portal and the online forms via webinar on 9 and 10 December 2020. If you are interested in attending please register with the following industry associations:

Wednesday 9 December 2020, 11:00am to 12noon
NSW Minerals Council
Register by contacting Craig Milton:

Thursday 10 December 2020, 11:30am to 12:30pm
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (NSW)
Register via Eventbrite

Contacting the Regulator during the holiday period

The NSW Government shut down period will occur from Friday 25 December 2020 to Friday 8 January 2021.

During this time contact with the Resources Regulator will be limited.

In case you missed it

The following are recent publications and updates available on our website:


If you have any feedback please email
Further information:
Resources Regulator  |  1300 814 609  |


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Maitland, New South Wales 2320

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