Peak Gold Mines operates 4 gold and copper ore mines in Cobar, NSW. During 10 different rainfall events in 2011 contaminated water was discharged from a tailings dam at Peak’s copper-gold processing plant into a clean water drain. The contaminated water then flowed into surrounding bushland.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) prosecuted Peak for the offence of polluting waters in contravention of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) in the Land and Environment Court. The maximum penalty for the offence is $1 million. Peak pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $50,000. Peak was also ordered to pay the EPA’s costs of over $55,000.
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