Aditya Birla’s Mount Gordon mine has been fined for failing to comply with orders for it to take actions to improve environmental management problems.
Queensland’s acting environment minister Rachel Nolan said the hardrock was fined $140 000 after pleading guilty to breaching a 2007 court order.
The miner was also ordered to pay $20 000 for investigation costs.
“In 2006 the mine was ordered to rehabilitate its Mammoth Waste Site and ensure water seepage was minimised, however the operator failed to fully comply with this order,” Nolan said.
“In 2009, two EPOs were issued ordering Birla Mt Gordon to take action to address water management issues onsite to lower the risk of environmental harm during the wet season.
“These water management actions included improving water storage, addressing the cause of the contaminants and submitting a plan to reduce the 7.5 gigalitres of contaminated water located onsite. Once again Birla Mount Gordon Mine failed to fully comply with the EPOs within the specified timeframe.”
Mount Gordon has stated that it has spent more than $20 million in building and improving environmental infrastructure at the mine, adding that it is working to ensure compliance with current regulatory requirements.
However, Nolan believes there is still a risk, and ordered more restraints against the mine.
“This mine is currently holding large quantities of contaminated water on site and with more heavy rains expected this year that’s an unacceptably high risk to the environment.
“The orders require the company honour an agreement to install and operate the necessary infrastructure to reduce the risk of an uncontrolled release from the site,” she said.
“The orders also require the mine to make further water reductions over the coming dry seasons to return it to compliance with the requirements of its environmental authority.”
If the miner fails to comply with these latest restraints it faces a potential fine of $1.5 million.