Ellendale first site to be gazetted under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act

Gazettal of the Ellendale Diamond Mine allows DMP to undertake any necessary works at the site to ensure the area is safe, stable and non-polluting.
Date: Friday, 04 December 2015

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has gazetted the Ellendale Diamond Mine (Ellendale) under section 9(1) of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 (MRF Act).

Executive Director Environment Phil Gorey said the decision allows DMP to undertake any necessary works at the site to ensure the area is safe, stable and non-polluting.

“The department’s priority is to quickly address key safety and environmental risks at the site,” Dr Gorey said.

“Safety and environmental experts from the department and other agencies have conducted a series of inspections at the site to assess safety and environmental risks.

“The information gathered from these inspections ensures the department can prioritise its actions to address those risks.

“The department has also met with a number of stakeholders to discuss concerns regarding the site.”

Dr Gorey said the ground works will address immediate safety and environmental risks, and also protect the value of the remaining resources, ensuring they can be responsibly developed in the future.

“The department considers it highly likely that there will be future mining conducted in this area and is therefore not intending to close and fully rehabilitate the Ellendale mine site,” he said.

The department is continuing to investigate whether there has been any contravention of mining and safety laws at the mine site, and the move to gazette the Ellendale site does not prejudice those investigations.

"The introduction of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund ensures Western Australian taxpayers will not have to pay for remediation activities at Ellendale, or any other mining operations that may become abandoned in the future,” Dr Gorey said.

The site is located 100km northwest of Fitzroy Crossing and is located on active pastoral leases. Access to the mine or the pastoral properties is not open to the public, tourists or any unauthorised persons, and trespassers can be prosecuted.

The department has released an information sheet on Ellendale and will provide further updates in the new year.