In April 2017, Big Island Mining received final approval from the Commonwealth Government to proceed with the development of the Dargues Reef Gold Mine at Majors Creek. Big Island Mining had previously received approval under NSW Planning legislation following the NSW Planning Assessment Commission determining the matter.
The initial Commonwealth conditional approval was granted under the (Cth) Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 was in February 2017. After further submissions from Big Island Mining addressing the issues of a Construction Environmental Management Plan and a Water Management Plan, final approval was granted in April 2017.
Now that this 3 year process has been completed, the Association will be making a further submission to the NSW Minister for Planning. That submission will request the need for mandatory consideration of potential downstream impacts of all mining activity, given the massive damage to the environment and communities that discharges from mine sites can and do cause.
The bond arrangements that currently exist for miners are totally inadequate, and that will be an issue that will also be addressed to the Minister and other peak environmental groups.
These issues need a coordinated approach at State level, by peak NSW environmental organisation such as the Nature Conservation Council, as they impact State-wide development and are not simply a local issue.