The transitional arrangements which exempt ancillary mining activities (AMAs) that were commenced or constructed before 15 November 2010 and have continued since then, from section 6 of the Mining Act 1992 (the Mining Act), end on 15 November2019. From 16 November 2019 currently exempt AMAs will be required to have an authorisation or an application for an authorisation.

Communal mullock stockpile visit

As part of the NSW Government’s commitment to developing a long-term governance framework for communal mullock stockpiles in the Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs regions, the Division is progressing work to better understand the attributes and values of these communal stockpile sites.

The findings from this work will inform the future discussions with landholders, community, and industry, to be undertaken as part of the development of the long-term governance arrangements. This necessary work will commence in the first quarter of 2018 and will be undertaken by an independent consultancy.

Affected landholders will be contacted directly.

Transition period for selected communal mullock stockpiles

The transitional arrangements are being extended for communal mullock stockpiles (communal stockpiles) that existed before 15 November 2010 and have been continuously used since that time. The extension is from 16 November 2017 until 15 November 2019.

The extension will allow a long-term governance approach for communal stockpiles (also known as communal mullock dumps) to be developed in consultation with industry, landholders and the community. This will ensure communal stockpiles are rehabilitated to be safe and stable.

What this means for opal miners

Opal miners in the Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs mineral claims districts who do not hold an authorisation that allows them to deposit mullock at one of the exempt communal stockpiles can continue to use them until 15 November 2019, without breaching section 6 of the Mining Act. After this time, all communal stockpiles specified in the exemption will need to have an appropriate authorisation under the Mining Act.

If you are using a communal stockpile and do not hold an authorisation to deposit mullock as part of your mining operations, you should check the location of the stockpile is listed in the exemption before using it. Opal miners who do not have an authorisation and use a communal stockpile that is not exempt risk compliance and enforcement action.

NOTE: The extension to the transition period does not affect an opal miner’s obligations to comply with other relevant requirements under the Mining Act or any other laws. Opal miners will still need to have a landholder’s permission to access a communal stockpile on the relevant land.

What does the extension apply to?

The extension applies to the use of specified communal stockpiles listed in the exemption by someone who does not hold a mineral claim or mining lease authorising that use.

A list of the specified communal stockpiles by name and number is available.

Maps showing the specified communal stockpiles by number and Opal Prospecting Area are also available below:

Opal Prospecting Area 4, Lightning Ridge is not shown as no specified communal stockpiles fall within this area.   Exemption of mining purposes requirement.

Further information

For further information
+61 (0)2 6829 9200 or +61 (0)2 4931 6500
Title Services, Division of Resources and Geoscience, Department of Planning and Environment, PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310