Gold mine fined for pollution

Alkane Resources' Tomingley gold operations have been fined after pleading guilty to two separate polluted water discharges

It was fined $95,000 for the water discharges, and $16,797 in legal costs.

In March last year the miner saw a heavy rainfall event, and reported to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) that sediment laden water had entered a drainage channel which travels through the mine site.

The channel ultimately discharges into three dams, two of which are located on a neighbouring private property.

Only a fortnight later sediment laden water again travelled into the drainage channel and the neighbour’s dams.

EPA director north Gary Davey said the mine’s sediment and erosion controls were not adequately in place at the time of the incident.

“Although the mine had commenced operations the sediment and erosion controls were not properly installed,” Davey said.

“Sediment laden waters can have a major impact on local waterways and rainfall events are often unpredictable, this is why it’s important that appropriate controls are in place at all times.

“The mine put emergency stabilisation and sediment control works in place after the discharge events and then carried out longer term sediment and erosion controls,” he added.

“The EPA issued the company with a Clean-up Notice on 18 September 2014 to remove sediments from the discharge which had been deposited offsite. The mine completed these works in accordance with the notice.”

Alkane has been contacted for addtional comment.