DMIRS ensures authorised access only to Ellendale ahead of EOI process

Updated Ellendale fact sheet now available
Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) is working towards releasing the request for Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the Ellendale diamond mine in the West Kimberley in the first half of 2018.
A report by an independent expert diamond geologist on the Ellendale mine commissioned by DMIRS is being reviewed by the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA).

Resource Tenure Division Executive Director Tony Bullen said the report would be made public when the review is complete.

“This will help potential EoI respondents weigh the merits of exploring, developing and operating at Ellendale and the EoI process will be able continue to the stage of calling for EoIs,” he said.

“If the EoI process is successful and a new operator is found for Ellendale, DMIRS estimates that it will take at least two years for the new mining lease to be granted from the time the Minister for Mines and Petroleum invites the successful respondent.

“In the meantime, given Ellendale’s remote location, DMIRS is working closely with key stakeholders to ensure there is only authorised access to the site and signage.

“Security monitoring and padlocked gates are already in place.”

Mr Bullen said that all authorised visitors must register with DMIRS at least two weeks in advance to arrange access.

“Much of Ellendale’s former plant and equipment was sold and removed during liquidator auctions in 2015, but a few sold items were not removed,” he said.

“The timeframe for removal has expired and further access will only be considered under exceptional circumstances.”

The former owners of the Ellendale diamond mine went into receivership in July 2015 and the liquidators relinquished the minesite, including the mining lease and associated legal liabilities.

The minesite is now an exemption area under Section 19 of the Mining Act, removing it from the normal operation of the Act and enabling the Minister for Mines to consider how it should be managed.

“If the EoI process is successful, the new lessee will only be expected to pay for normal mining lease application fees,” Mr Bullen said.

“There will be no upfront rehabilitation costs, although the new lessee will be required to undertake ongoing rehabilitation work as part of any new mining process.”

Once it returns to productive mining operations, the new lessee will be required to contribute to the Mine Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) at standard rates.

Mr Bullen said that by paying into the fund, the new lessee would have an added incentive to address rehabilitation to ensure it is not required to pay a higher rate into the MRF.

“The new lessee’s future environmental liabilities will depend upon the activities it undertakes,” he said.
As of 30 June 2017, DMIRS had spent $232,000 to stabilise the site, which came out of the MRF as part of contributions made by the former operator. This allowed DMIRS to make the area safe, stable and non-polluting while ensuring it remains usable for potential future diamond production.

An updated fact sheet on Ellendale is now available on the DMIRS website.


  • To be informed when the Ellendale request for Expressions of Interest documentation is released, please contact Assistant Project Officer Emma Smith at
  • For more information about the abandoned mine program
  • For more information about the MRF
  • For information on tenure issues related to Ellendale please contact Resource Access Project Manager Michael Freeman at or call him on 9222 3502
  • For information on rehabilitation or stabilisation works conducted at Ellendale please contact Abandoned Mines Program Manager Ian Mitchell at or 9222 3441

For all media enquiries please call 9222 6102.