The Queensland Government has agreed to a $14.1 million reduction in the Estimated Rehabilitation Cost (ERC) associated with the Century mining operations in the lower Gulf.
Project owner New Century Resources has welcomed the move as recognition of its economic rehabilitation model at the site, where it is reprocessing tailings from previous operations.
It said the cut took the ERC to a total of $183.9 million.
This followed the company’s November 2019 submission of a new ERC application and extensive engagement with stakeholders including an independent expert panel.
“This ERC reduction agreement is a fantastic achievement for the Company and a demonstration of our strategy to provide for material progressive mine rehabilitation while delivering beneficial economic outcomes,” managing director Patrick Walta said.
“The company is already planning its next submission and looks forward to making further reductions over the coming years as our economic rehabilitation activities progress.”
New Century understands the outcome represents the first reduction in ERC under Queensland’s new legislation for a company still undertaking mining operations.
Its operations at the Century mine are continuing to reduce the surface area of disturbance of historical mining activities.
New Century said good progress had been made in the clean-up of the
existing tailings dam and evaporation dam, with New Century’s tailings reprocessing operations transferring this material back into the original open pit.
The Mineral and Energy Resources Financial Provisioning Act (MERFP Act) commenced on April 1 2019, replacing previous financial assurance under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) with the Financial Provisioning Scheme (Scheme).
The scheme is intended to provide financial coverage to the Queensland Government for rehabilitation in the event a holder of a resource authority or small scale-mining tenure fails to meet their environmental and rehabilitation obligations.