The Independent Monitor’s Audit Report on the environmental performance of the McArthur River Mine has been released today, as part of the Territory’s commitment to the responsible and sustainable development of our mining industry.
The role of the Independent Monitor is:
- to assess whether the operator, McArthur River Mining Pty Ltd (MRM), is meeting the conditions put on them by the government to protect the environment, and
- to assess how well the regulator, the NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, is ensuring the mine is following the rules.
A condition of the mine’s expansion in 2006 was the appointment of an Independent Monitor.
The Independent Monitor, Advisian Pty Ltd, presented the findings of its report to key stakeholders in the Borroloola community last week.
Findings of the report include the following:
- MRM and the department both showed a high level of compliance with the Mining Authorisation conditions and the NT EPA Recommendations:
- MRM has improved its management of areas of the mine that are considered high risk to the environment if they are not managed properly.
- There has been an increased focus on key environmental risk areas which has improved the mine’s overall environmental performance.
- The improved way that MRM has followed approval requirements to look after the environment can be linked, in part, to how well the department has applied the requirements.
- The review of the department’s regulatory procedures and approach found that there are opportunities to simplify activities to make them more efficient, especially those involving recurring regulatory processes.
- Overall, the McArthur River and its creeks were in good health and the fish were safe to eat.
The next audit covering the period May 2020 to April 2021 has commenced, with the next Annual Environmental Performance Audit Report (AEPAR) and Annual Report Card to be released around September 2021.
The Independent Monitor’s Audit Report, the response from McArthur River Mine and the department can be viewed at https://industry.nt.gov.au/mrm-independent-monitor
Response from Minister for Mining and industry, Nicole Manison
“The Territory Labor Government is supporting jobs and protecting the environment through strict regulation of the McArthur River Mine and its future operations.
“We administer the Mining Management Act 2001 to manage environmental impacts and to enable the sustainable development of mineral resources for the benefit of all Territorians.
“As the Minister for Mining and Industry, I am pleased with the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s regulatory performance as reported by the Independent Monitor. The overall compliance score achieved by the Department is 97% and this is strong evidence that we are regulating the operator of the mine effectively.
“The overall high level of regulatory compliance by both the operator (95%) and the department (97%) supports our strong commitment to working with operators to have efficient mine operations while ensuring the safety of the community and the environment.”
Response from Steven Rooney, General Manager, McArthur River Mining
“We know how important the McArthur River is to people living in the region, so we are pleased that the Independent Monitor has again confirmed that the river is healthy and fish are safe to eat.
“The high level of environmental performance reported by the Independent Monitor is confirmation that our environmental management systems are rigorous, robust and appropriate to protect the McArthur River and surrounding environment.”