Miner pleads guilty to compliance infringement

Integra Coal has pled guilty in the Land and Environment Court to exceeding its waste dump limits.

The coal miner pleaded guilty to constructing a waste rock dump that exceeded the approved height by more than ten metres.

This is the fourth time Integra has come under fire, having previously been fined twice this year for exceeding blasting limits as well as for excessive dust on site.

In February it was fined $3000 for recording a blast of more than 125 decibels, above the 120 decibel limit.

It was again fined in August for a blast that measured 126 decibels.

In August the NSW Department of Planning has received an increase in the number of complaints for mining activity in the Hunter Valley, compared to July.

According to the department's latest compliance report, the number of complaints rose in August, with 43 overall, although the number of complaints related to blasting and noise has dropped dramatically.

In July its Singleton office received 40 complaints; 23 of which related to noise, four to dust, nine for blasting, and four for other compliance matters.

This month saw only 16 complaints for blasting and noise.

However complaints relating to dust have spiked, with the department recording 22 issues in August.

The report stated that "eleven of these dust complaints related to the Mt Thorley Warkworth mine, mainly concerning dust on the Putty Road".

Last month also saw the department host a meeting in Newcastle with around 30 auditing consultants to investigate the quality of independent environmental audits in the Upper Hunter, after raising concerns that these audits often contain insufficient information.

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