Coal mine fined for overflow

Moolarben Coal has been fined more $100 000 for an uncontrolled contaminated water release back in 2009.

It comes after the EPA was initially notified of muddy water flowing into Bora Creek (a tributary of the Goulburn River) from the nearby Moolarben coal mine, according to the Lithgow Mercury.

An investigation revealed the company had cleared land and carried out earthworks but failed to enact erosion and sediment control to prevent runoff.

In June 2009, the EPA received a number of reports of muddy water flowing in Bora Creek on the Moolarben Coal land and subsequently entering the Goulburn River.

"The EPA investigated the Moolarben Coal land in response to these complaints and found that the company had cleared vegetation and conducted earthworks on 53 hectares of the land but failed to implement appropriate erosion and sediment controls to prevent runoff entering the nearby waterways," EPA acting chief environmental regulator Mark Gifford said.

He went on to say the fine reflected the mine’s lack of regard for the environment in this instance.

"Having the right environmental controls in place is essential in operations such as this, had Moolarben had adequate sediment and erosion controls in place, this incident simply would not have happened."

Moolarben stated that it "deeply regrets the discharge event that occurred in June 2009 during a period of very heavy rainfall and while the mine was under the control of the mine’s previous owner Felix Resources.

"Since then significant improvements and preventative measures have been undertaken on the mine site to manage water flow and storage."

The miner was fined $105 000 and was ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs, which totaled $53 000 as well as the investigation costs of $8632.

Moolarben is now owned by Yancoal.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.