The New South Wales Government has announced that essential remediation work to improve safety and reduce environmental risk is set to begin on the Lake George Mine on 20 November 2023 and will be carried out until mid-2026.
While it was operative, Lake George Mine was one of the largest base metal mines in New South Wales, producing lead, zinc, copper, pyrite, silver and gold and spanned approximately 100ha of legacy mine workings, extending underground to a depth of over 600 metres. The mine operated over several decades, starting in the late 1800s and closing in the 1960s.
Up to $33 million of remediation work at the Lake George Mine will be carried out under the New South Wales Government’s Legacy Mine Program. The fund includes a total of $107.7 million for high risk historic and abandoned mine sites.
During the remediation work period, the site’s historic mining structures will be preserved to maintain the mining history of the site.
Historic mining operations in New South Wales such as Lake George Mine were not subject to the stringent rehabilitation regulatory requirements in force today.
Under contemporary mining regulations, mine operators are required to submit and implement comprehensive rehabilitation plans, lodge security bonds, and progressively remediate sites to limit poor environmental and safety outcomes.
The New South Wales Resources regulator is responsible for ensuring compliance with rehabilitation plans approved through the planning process.
New South Wales Minister for Resources, Courtney Houssos, said the State Government is committed to safeguarding the environment and protecting local communities, including through the Legacy Mines Program.
“Mining continues to drive prosperity in New South Wales. Remediating historic legacy mines is an important way that the New South Wales Government can support local economies and ensure regional communities are great places to live and visit,” Ms Houssos said.
“By addressing the legacy of historical mining practices, we are ensuring a better and safer future for our communities.”
New South Wales Member for Monaro, Steve Whan, said, “The further remediation of the Captains Flat mine surrounds reflects the fact that our knowledge of the dangers of this type of site continues to get better. This is a big job and I’m pleased the Government continues to work to ensure community health.
“I am also very conscious of the fact that private landowners in Captains Flat also face considerable uncertainty and potentially high costs as a result of the government identifying issues on town blocks. I have not forgotten those people.”