Miner to face ‘sand theft’ charges

Unimin Australia has been accused of illegally mining and selling sand by-products.

Sand miner Unimin Australia is facing charges of illegally removing and selling sand.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has alleged that Unimin, which mines silica sand on North Stradbroke Island, has been selling sand illegally removed from the island to the construction and landscaping industries.

Environmentalists have stated that Unimin would need a quarry licence as well as a permit under the Forestry Act to mine and sell sand unrelated to its mining operations.

Speaking to MINING DAILY, the DERM said it has charged Unimin with two offences directly relating to the alleged sand theft.

Unimin has stated that the company was unaware it did not have the appropriate permits.

“As evidence of our belief that we had authority to undertake this activity, Unimin had been regularly remitting royalties to the Queensland government for the sale of this by-product,” the miner said.

The case goes to court tomorrow.

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