EPA commences four additional prosecutions against Cadia gold mine for air pollution

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has launched four further prosecutions in the NSW Land and Environment Court against Newcrest’s Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd’s (Cadia) for alleged air pollution and solid particle exceedances from the Cadia gold mine.

This follows an EPA prosecution commenced in August this year, also related to a solid particle exceedance, to which Cadia has plead guilty.

The new prosecutions relate to four alleged breaches of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 including:

  • two offences relating to an exceedance of the standard of concentration for solid particles (total) as a result of operating mine surface exhaust fans attached to Ventilation Rise 8 (VR8) in November 2021 and May 2023, and
  • two offences relating to air pollution incidents in October 2022 from the surface of Cadia’s tailings storage facilities.

These new prosecutions follow investigations by the EPA into dust emissions from VR8, as well as monitoring and regulation of dust emissions from the tailings storage facilities following a failure of a dam wall in 2018. The EPA has previously issued two penalty notices and two pollution reduction programs in relation to the tailings dam wall failure.

The EPA will continue active investigations into Cadia’s mining operations and licence compliance and will take necessary regulatory action, including prosecutions, where appropriate.

The sentence hearing for the EPA’s first prosecution of Cadia is set down for 28 March 2024.