Small Scale Mining Code

Small Scale Mining Code

This Small Scale Mining Code was adopted by Start Your Own Gold Mine and has to be observed and followed by all present and future clients for the duration of the contract with our company.

Introduction

The Small Scale Mining Code is there for managing impacts of small scale mining activities carried out under a mining claim or mining license (a small scale mining code), that states guidelines for small scale mining activities to:

Relationship with environmental legislation

This Code does not replace environmental regulation and enforcement as imposed by any government where our clients are starting their projects to Start Your Own Gold Mine.

Rather, the Small Scale Mining Code provides guidelines and conditions that will assist small scale miners conduct their activities and manage the land in a way that ensures the landscape upon which they work is kept in a reasonable state for current and future use. In doing so, this will inherently assist in achieving appropriate environmental standards.

Small scale miners shall still be subject to complying with the general environmental duties as dictated any applicable laws.

Guidelines for Primary Mining License Holders and Partners

Small scale mining for gold and diamonds has relatively low impact on the landscape as compared with larger mines, such as an open cut gold mine. By the nature of the locality of known deposits of gold and diamonds, mining for these commodities is likely to be limited to remote areas of the country where impact on the land has a limited effect. While this has been recognised through changes in environmental policies, it is important that activities in these areas are still undertaken in a responsible manner. Common sense flexibility is required for small scale activities where operators are more likely to be working alongside landowners. Responsible land use during mining operations and subsequent rehabilitation and restoration of improvements is important to minimise the impact on the landscape and landowners.

The following guidelines under this part are aimed at providing small scale miners with general principles and directions as to how to best undertake their activities while limiting impact to a reasonable level. License holders should make every effort to comply with these guidelines however it is recognised that not all circumstances may lend to strict compliance and another outcome may be equally appropriate.

Prospecting license is for the temporary land use and at all times a clear rehabilitation objective must be observed to return the land to a pre-exploration condition which is sustainable for all future users of that land. The following guidelines are aimed at providing holders of prospecting licenses for small scale mining activities general principles and directions as to how to best undertake their activities while limiting impact to a reasonable level. Prospecting license holders should make every effort to fully comply with the guidelines under this part, however it is recognised that not all circumstances may lend to strict compliance and another action or outcome may be equally appropriate.

Backfilling

All shafts and excavations that are to be backfilled should be overfilled to a raised mound profile to allow for settlement.

Overburden should be returned to the excavation prior to respreading with topsoil.

Reject sand and gravel (wash) from alluvial separation plants should be returned to the excavation as soon as practicable.

Topsoil should be re-spread over backfilled areas as soon as practicable.

Mullock and overburden heaps that are not required as a backfilling medium should be reshaped to a profile similar to surrounding undisturbed land and where appropriate, benched to mitigate erosion.

Excavations

Ridge cuts should be benched with no overhangs remaining.

Any excavations that are to remain, with landowner agreement, for water storage after completion of mining, should be bunded and access provided for stock.

Dams

Puddling / slimes / silt dams should be located up slope from the water supply dam where practicable. Spillways and drains should direct settled water back into the water supply dam.

Erosion and sediment control

The high sides of excavations should be bunded to divert stormwater runoff.

Rain water diversions should be installed to direct runoff into the water storage facility.

Adequate erosion and sediment controls such as sediment traps and banks, should be installed and maintained to prevent erosion of disturbed areas and runoff of silt.

Roads and tracks should have appropriately positioned diversions to prevent erosion from storm water runoff.

Noise and dust

Dust generation should be kept to a minimum.

Roads, tracks and plant site should be watered as necessary.

Separation plants should be fitted with dust suppression sprays as necessary.

Noise generation from plant and vehicles should be minimized by fitting effective mufflers. Sound barriers should be erected if applicable.

Machinery and equipment use

All plant, equipment and structures should be removed from the licensed area prior to surrender, unless allowed to remain by written agreement with the landowner.

All machinery leaving the area should be washed down to prevent spread of noxious weeds.

Roads and tracks

Where practical, consult with the local council regarding any new roads that are constructed that will impact on district maintenance of public roads.

Fuel storage

When deciding the location of fuel storage, consideration should be given to flooding, fire hazards and vegetation impacts.

General waste

General waste should be disposed at a waste facility rather than buried, where practicable.

Land disturbance

Care should be taken to avoid disturbing large and/or mature trees by selecting specific trees to be cleared and avoiding damage to surrounding vegetation. Where practical leave the rootstock intact to promote regeneration and regrowth.

Cleared vegetation should not be burnt, but should be saved for future use in natural seed regeneration and revegetation of rehabilitation areas and to mitigate erosion of those areas.

Saved vegetation should be spread over re-profiled areas to promote regrowth through natural germination.

Compacted areas should be ripped to minimise storm water runoff and promote revegetation.

Erosion and sediment control

Adequate banks and/or diversion drains should be installed to minimise the potential for storm water runoff to enter disturbed areas.

Roads and tracks should have appropriately positioned diversions to prevent erosion from storm water runoff.

On new tracks, diversions should be installed to slow stormwater runoff and prevent erosion.

Campsites

Locate campsites at least 100m from any riverine areas.

Appropriate human waste disposal facilities should be installed e.g. portable self contained toilets, pit toilets, septic tanks.

Absorption trenches, transpiration beds or spray irrigation should be used to dispose of grey water; and all disposal areas should be located at least 100m from any watercourse, waterway, groundwater recharge area, wetland or lake.

Noise and dust

Dust generation should be kept to a minimum.

Noise generation from machinery and vehicles should be minimized by fitting effective mufflers.

Sound barriers should be erected if applicable.

Drilling, excavating and sampling

All marker pegs should be marked with contrasting colour so as to be clearly visible.

All permanent markers (example, concrete plugs or steel plates) are installed at ground level and made safe.

Sumps should be used to contain drilling mud/fluid. Unused drill chips should be returned to the hole or disposed of in the sump.

Sumps should be allowed to dry out before respreading with topsoil.

Trenches, costeans and sample pits should be backfilled as soon as practicable after sampling.

Fuel storage

When deciding the location of fuel storage, consideration should be given to flooding, fire hazards and vegetation impacts.

General waste

General waste should be disposed at a waste facility rather than buried, where practicable.

Copyright Information

This information has been provided for clients of the business program to Start Your Own Gold Mine, it was modified from the original and has been based on the publication initially compiled by Service, Training and Regulatory Support of Mining and Petroleum Operations, Department of Natural Resources and Mines of the State of Queensland.

Copyright is to State of Queensland, 2013. and the attributor Start Your Own Gold Mine, 2016. The link to the original article is https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/262374/small-scale-mining-code.pdf and link to the attributor is Start Your Own Gold Mine.

The copyright in this informaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY) licence.

Under this licence you are free, without having to seek our permission, to use this publication in accordance with the licence terms.

You must keep intact the copyright notice and attribute the State of Queensland as the source of the publication including the Start Your Own Gold Mine as attributor.

For more information on this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/deed.en

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