Members would have recently received either by email or post a letter and a nomination form from Planning & Environment’s Division of Resources & Geoscience asking miners to nominate the communal mullock dumps they use.

The LRMA suggests the attached form letter may be more appropriate and easier for members to complete rather than the Division’s form. Also attached are two lists of communal dumps and their GPS coordinates – one for the Lightning Ridge area and one for the Glengarry, Grawin area. If you are in agreement with the letter simply complete your details, sign it, attach the list(s) of mullock dumps and either scan and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop into the local office by 22 September 2017. Feel free to amend the letter to suit your own circumstances. The Division has a list of answers to “Frequently asked Questions” and these are also attached.

As many may be aware the LRMA has been lobbying for many years for the Minister to exempt communal mullock dumps (rehabilitation stockpiles) from the requirement of being on a title. An amendment to the Mining Act 1992 back in 2010 directed that all mining purposes must be on a title and earlier this year a new Bill went through Parliament changing the term ‘mining purposes’ to ‘ancillary mining activities’ (AMA).

The Division of Resources & Geoscience are trying to determine which communal mullock dumps are being used and which are not and close down those that are currently inactive. According to the Division if a communal mullock dump has been abandoned for a continuous period exceeding 12 months it will not be eligible to be given an exemption and nor will those dumps only being used by one person. No doubt the Division will use the miners’ mullock dump levy to rehabilitate those communal mullock dumps they decide are no longer necessary.

All rehabilitation stockpiles are essential to the opal mining industry. A communal mullock dump that is inactive today could be active tomorrow and vice versa. The dumps are strategically placed throughout the fields and mining activity will be severely curtailed without communal dumps not only to dump overburden but to win back dirt to backfill shafts.

If you do complete the Division’s “Nomination of communal mullock dump(s)” form please ensure you include every mullock dump you have ever used and every mineral claim you have held or worked, which may be a little bit of a stretch of the memory. In relation to Question 5 all communal mullock dumps were put in place with the agreement of the landholder, the then Department of Mines and Crown Lands and therefore none are within the distances quoted for (a), (b) and (c) and all existed before November 2010 (question 6). Question 7 asks for additional information and perhaps you could advise that the NSW Claims Viewer does not work and therefore you could not refer to it.

Should you have any questions please contact the LRMA office.


A number of officers from the Division of Resources & Geoscience met with the LRMA last Tuesday 29 August 2017 who travelled to Lightning Ridge from Maitland. The majority were from Titles section with one from System Programs & Performance and another from Resources Policy.

Most of the meeting was taken up with discussion on the communal mullock dumps and then the Division and the LRMA went through the usual list of issues that still remain unresolved. For example, renewal of the Collective Security Bond Scheme, the inspection of cancelled and lapsed titles, policies for mining on the edge of the ridges and distances from stock watering points, OPB maps and boundaries, AMP for Springvale, and the list goes on.

The Division’s officers will return to Lightning Ridge in November and hopefully some issues may have progressed.


The LRMA was privileged to have a visit from the Minister for Planning and his staff on 22 August 2017. The issues discussed included the voluntary surrender scheme, the Division of Resources & Geoscience and the number of unresolved issues.


(L-R) LRMA Secretary/Manager Maxine O’Brien, LRMA Director Ormie Molyneux, Minister for Planning The Hon Anthony Roberts, MP and LRMA President Sebastian Deisenberger at the Lightning Ridge Bowling Club.


It is now time to renew your LRMA membership for the 2017/2018 financial year.

The following have applied for membership of the LRMA.  If any member has an objection to any of these membership applications please contact the LRMA office and your objection will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

Desmond Jones-Ah Kit       Proposer: Charlie Brown    Seconder: Ormond Molyneux

Joan Jones    Proposer: Charlie Brown    Seconder: Ormond Molyneux

Kenneth Manning    Proposer: Gavin Thomson    Seconder: Patricia Vermeer

Deen Parkinson    Proposer: Lewis Wilson    Seconder: Jillian Wilson

Shane Aubin    Proposer: Homer Remaili    Seconder: Andrew Pope

Neville Stirling    Proposer: Les Walsh    Seconder: Martin Thomas

Michael Ah Kit    Proposer: Charlie Brown    Seconder: Ormond Molyneux

Graham Leicester    Proposer: Charlie Brown    Seconder: Cindy Schuler

Ilija Vrcelj    Proposer: Peter Milas    Seconder: Mirko Kvcznoivc

David Kuhnert    Proposer: Desmond Skinner    Seconder: Lynden Butts

Carmela Zito    Proposer: Bruno Zito    Seconder: Homer Remaili

Simon Marshall    Proposer: James Kuczer    Seconder: Harrison Kuczer

Craig Healy    Proposer: Paul Fraser    Seconder: Ian Fraser   

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