Mines tasked to comply with regulations  

UPPER Hunter residents made almost 30 mining-related complaints last month  but  their concerns did not result in a single fine or warning letter.

Of the 27 complaints made to the Department of Planning, 18 were for noise, six for dust, one for blasting and two for other compliance issues.

The department’s monthly compliance report said additional information was sought regarding a number of the complaints, but the respective mines were found to comply in each case.

However, the department did issue a $3000  penalty notice   to Ravensworth North Mine for unacceptable dust levels after an unscheduled site  inspection on November 30 to assess the mine’s dust management practices in hot dry weather.

‘‘The department observed unacceptable levels of wheel-generated dust within the Ravensworth North pit, which was in breach of the mine’s environmental assessment commitments to minimise wheel generated dust,’’ the  report said.

The mine was  issued a warning letter for wheel-generated dust on September 10, 2012. The mine ceased operations and verified that dust levels at the boundary air quality monitors were compliant following the incident.

It also held a training and debriefing session on dust management and spoke to the machinery operators.

The department also issued two $3000 penalty notices and a warning letter to Manalong Coal Mine near Morisset in November. The fines followed the mine exceeding the  tonnage limits on coal transportation to a processing site at Cooranbong and Eraring power station.

The amount of coal transported by underground conveyor to the Cooranbong processing site exceeded the approved limit of 4million tonnes per annum by 6per cent.  The amount of coal transported from Cooranbong to Eraring Power Station by overland conveyor exceeded the limit of 2million tonnes per annum by 24per cent.

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