Tenement holders are responsible for monitoring their own compliance and demonstrating compliance to their stakeholders through public reporting and engagement. DEM staff conduct compliance activities to provide assurance to the government, industry, community and other stakeholders that companies are being regularly monitored and are adhering to all relevant obligations. All major mines and other mining operations in South Australia are subject to regular scheduled and ad hoc site inspections.
The changes to the Mining Act in January 2021 introduced new requirements for all extractive and industrial mining operations in South Australia to submit an annual compliance report. These compliance reports, which are publicly available, provide a summary of the tenement holder's compliance with its obligations.
In 2021–22 DEM officers conducted 338 inspections and attended 13 community meetings.
Details on mining compliance can be found in the Mining compliance section of the DEM website:
Table 11: Summary of mineral tenements and operating mines - 30 June 2022
Note: These figures exclude opal mining tenements which are summarised separately.
|Extractive minerals lease||584|
|Miscellaneous purposes licence||115|
|Total mining leases||1,432|
|Total mining operations||527|
|Total producing operations*||377|
|*Defined as those mines for which a royalty return has been submitted to DEM in the past 3 years.|
Figure 12: Number of inspections FY2017–18 to FY2021–22
Popup table version of Figure 12: Number of inspections FY2017–18 to FY2021–22
Since 2019 the number of inspections has been impacted by COVID-19 related travel restrictions and associated resourcing constraints.
Note: Compliance inspections include routine inspections as well as site meetings, responding to complaints and incidents, and ad hoc inspections. Tenement inspections include renewals, surrender and transfer inspections. Assessment inspections include new mineral applications and mining programs.
Figure 15: DEM mining and exploration inspections by region FY2021–22
Table 12: Status of ongoing community consultative committees - 30 June 2022
|Mining operation||Community committee||Meeting frequency|
|Angus Mine||Strathalbyn Community Consultative Committee||Quarterly|
|Golden Grove Extractives Industry Zone||Golden Grove Community Group||Quarterly|
|Kanmantoo Mine||Kanmantoo-Callington Community Consultative Committee||Quarterly|
|Linwood Quarry||Linwood Residents Joint Working Group||As required|
|Penrice Mine (Angaston Quarry)||Penrice Community Consultative Committee||6 monthly|
Table 13: Compliance-related activities for mining operations FY2021–22
|Activity||Number of activities carried out|
|Site inspections (mining only)||320|
|Reportable uranium/radiation incidents||3|
|Formal letter issued||67|
|Formal direction/order issued||3|
|Unauthorised mining investigations||13|
|Compliance report received||108|
|Community meetings attended||13|
|Program notifications assessed||29|
The most common mining complaints received in 2021–22 are:
- Dust – 14
- Blasting – 9
- Water quality – 9
Blasting and dust complaints are typically received from mining operations located adjacent to residential areas. These operations are expected to continuously focus on minimising external impacts, with many adopting real-time technologies to monitor blasting and dust events, trigger and response plans and transparent reporting systems.
Many of these operations also have well-established community engagement programs to ensure local communities are informed of developments and regulatory performance.
Figure 16: Mining complaints registered with DEM FY2021–22
Popup table version of Figure 16: Mining complaints registered with DEM FY2021–22
The most common incident types recorded in 2021–22 were:
- Spills – 11
- Dust – 6
- Water quality – 3
All reportable incidents under the Mining Act must be reported to DEM. 24 incidents were reported on mining tenements. Four of these were uranium or radiation-related incidents.
More information about the types of incidents that must be reported, and how and when can be found ono the Incident reporting page of the DEM website:
Mining operations enforcement actions
Table 14: Enforcement actions issued, outstanding or closed for mining operations FY2021–22
Note: Includes outstanding directions issued prior to 30 June 2021 that were completed or remained outstanding at 30 June 2022.
|Compliance instrument||Date issued||Tenement holder/operator||Noncompliance||Outcome|
|Environmental direction||27/03/2013||One Steel Manufacturing Pty Limited (currently trading as SIMEC Mining)||Tailings storage facility impacted on native vegetation at Iron Duke mine||Closed|
|Environmental direction||14/11/2017||Mark Hardy||Contamination to land resulting from hydrocarbon spills||Closed|
|Compliance direction||14/11/2017||Mark Hardy||Unauthorised native vegetation clearance, operating outside of the tenement boundary and operating outside of the scope of the PEPR||Ongoing rectification|
|Compliance direction||30/01/2019||Gawler Craton Resources Pty Ltd||Unauthorised mining (re-issued)||Ongoing rectification|
|Environmental direction||01/12/2020||John Hillam||Unauthorised mining/ illegal clearance/ environmental harm||Ongoing rectification|
|Environmental direction||24/12/2020||Buckland Dry Creek Pty Ltd||Remove brine and stop new brine entering Section 2 ponds, Dry Creek Salt Field||Ongoing|
|Compliance direction||28/07/2020||Goldus Pty Ltd||Unauthorised mining||Ongoing rectification|
|Environmental direction||5/11/2021||Holcim Pty Ltd||Excessive drag out||Closed|
|Compliance direction||30/03/2022||Southern Contracting Group Pty Ltd||Dust exceedances and non-reporting of exceedances||Ongoing rectification|
|Compliance order||20/05/2022||Hanson Construction Materials||Stormwater and silt / environmental harm||Ongoing rectification|