After nearly two and a half years of inquiries and approvals, the Dargues Reef Gold Mine will shortly commence operation.
The timeline of events for the approval process was as follows. As you will see, it commenced in November 2014 and as at April 2017 is not entirely complete.
Not: EPBC Act 1999 means the Commonwealth Government’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Timeline for the Approval Process for Dargues Reef Gold Mine
November 2014 – Press reports indicate Unity Mining is seeking to modify its 2011 DA approval
January 2015 – Unity Mining submits Modification 3 to Development Approval provided to NSW Government for preliminary comment
February 24th 2015 – Coastwatchers makes presentation to Eurobodalla Shire Council
July 9th 2015 – Unity Mining’s DA Mod 3 placed on Public Exhibition by NSW Planning for 6 weeks
August 25th 2015 – Coastwatchers makes further Presentation to Eurobodalla Shire Council
August 26th 2015 – Close of Public Exhibition for Mod 3. Coastwatchers lodges submission with NSW planning
September 4th 2015 – Coastwatchers lodges 1st Submission with Commonwealth Department of Environment re endangered species under EPBC Act 1999
October 27th 2015 – Commonwealth Determination issues Approval under EPBC Act 1999
November 15th 2015 – Unity responds to NSW Planning Public Submissions and at the same time withdraws on-site processing using cyanide.
December 1st 2015 – Public Exhibition of Unity Response
December 9th 2015 – Takeover proposal by PYBAR and Diversified Minerals of Unity Mining
January 3rd 2016 – Close of Public Exhibition re Unity’s Response. Coastwatchers lodges Submission to NSW Planning
June 22nd 2016 – NSW Planning makes Determination to refer matter to the NSW Planning Assessment Commission
July 26th 2016 – Planning Assessment Hearing in Braidwood. Coastwatchers makes Presentation
August 10th 2016 – Planning Assessment Commission determines an Approval for the Project
August 17th 2016 – Coastwatchers lodge 2nd Submission to Commonwealth Department of Environment re endangered species under EPBC Act 1999
February 17th 2017 – Commonwealth issues Determination of Conditional Approval under EPBC Act. The conditions are that the mine proponents must prepare a Construction Environmental Management Plan and a Water Management Plan.
The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment is yet to give final approval under the EPBC Act to these two plans.
Work cannot proceed until these Plans have been approved. The Association wrote to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment requesting the Plans be placed on public exhibition when finalised.
All the Coastwatchers submissions and presentations appear below in this blog.
Under NSW Planning legislation there has to be a Dargues Reef Mine Community Consultative Committee (CCC). It has been operating for many years.
Membership has been reviewed by the independent Chairman of the CCC and the NSW Minister for Planning, and Coastwatchers secretary Richard Roberts has been appointed as an environmental representative on the CCC.