A Lightning Ridge man has been convicted and fined $1000 in Walgett Local Court for unlawfully entering a mineral claim near Lightning Ridge.
On 10 April 2017, Gregory Young and another man were found on a privately held mineral claim, located approximately 15 kilometres west of Lightning Ridge, without the permission of the registered claim holder.
Both individuals were underground when they were discovered by the NSW Police at the claim.
NSW Police referred the matter to the Department of Planning and Environment’s Resources Regulator for investigation under the Mining Act 1992.
The Regulator’s investigation obtained sufficient evidence to prove that both men were on the mineral claim unlawfully.
The Resources Regulator’s Chief Compliance Officer Anthony Keon said the court’s decision highlights the significance of the offence.
“Trespassing on a mineral claim is a serious offence under the Mining Act that carries a maximum penalty of $5500 and or six months imprisonment,” Mr Keon said.
“Both men will now be issued with prohibition notices under the Mining Act, prohibiting entry to any mineral claim in the Lightning Ridge Mineral Claims District without lawful authority.”
Mr Young pleaded guilty to the charges. He was convicted, fined $1000 and was ordered to pay costs of $1770.