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Declared Mines and Quarries

Guideline for Preparation of Six Monthly Reports

Contents

  • About the guideline
  • Declared Quarries and Mines
  • Victorian legislative requirements of six monthly reports
  • Content of six monthly report

1. About the guideline

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (the department), Earth Resources Regulation Branch is responsible for the regulation of mines and quarries in Victoria. The department seeks to ensure that all Victorian mines and quarries are operated, rehabilitated and closed in such a manner that they are safe, stable and in accordance with community environmental and safety expectations.

This guideline applies to six monthly reporting requirements for Victorian quarries and mines that have been declared under Section 7C of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (MR(SD)A).  This reporting requirement is aimed at encouraging the systematic and consistent assessment and recording of quarry and mine stability management related to geotechnical and hydrogeological risks throughout the life cycle of a declared quarry and mine.

The intent of this guideline is to provide assistance in understanding these reporting requirements as specified in the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations 2013 (Mineral Regulations) and Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations 2010 (Extractive Regulations).  

2. Declared Quarries and Mines

Section 7C of the MR(SD)A provides for the Minister for Earth Resources to declare a specific mine or quarry where there are geotechnical or hydrogeological factors within the mine or quarry that pose a significant risk to:

  1. public safety; or
  2. the environment; or
  3. infrastructure.
Once a site is made a declared mine or quarry, it must meet additional regulatory requirements (stipulated in Section 41AE) in that the license holder must ensure that their approved work plan contains the prescribed mine stability requirements and processes detailed in Part 2 of Schedule 15 of the Mineral Regulations and Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Extractive Regulations.  

The prescribed mine stability requirements include the identification of major geotechnical and hydrogeological hazards, the provision of a risk management framework with supporting practices and procedures and the regular reporting of risk management activities. Typically, the implementation of a risk register for major stability hazards and a Ground Control Management Plan (GCMP) will meet this regulatory requirement and guide management of ground stability risks.

3. Victorian legislative requirements of six monthly reports

Declared Quarries

Clause 14 of the Extractive Regulations stipulates reporting relating to declared quarries as follows:

(1) The holder of an extractive industry work authority that relates to a declared quarry:

  1. must prepare a report in writing in respect of each period of six months -
    1. ending on 30 June or 31 December; or
    2. if the Minister nominates other dates in writing to the holder, ending on a date so nominated and
  2. and must provide the report to the Department Head within 3 months after the end of the period to which it relates.

(2) A report under subregulation (1) must include:

  1. the outcomes of reviews of the assessment, plan and controls for the management of geotechnical and hydrogeological risks for the declared mine, taking into account the results of monitoring carried out under the monitoring plan, and details of:
    1. the implementation of control measures
    2. any stability modelling undertaken
    3. any significant changes in the operation of the declared quarry; implications for the quarry design components

  2. the results of the monitoring plan set out in the work plan
  3. a description of activities taken to implement the declared quarry stability controls and the groundwater control system set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 and any recommended changes to the work plan.

Declared Mines

Clause 45 of the Mineral Regulations stipulate reporting relating to declared mines as follows:

(1) The holder of a mining licence that relates to a declared mine must report in writing to the Department Head in respect of each period of six months:

  1. ending on 30 June or 31 December; or
  2. if the Department Head nominates other dates in writing to the holder, ending on a date so nominated and must provide the report to the Department Head within three months after the end of the period to which it relates.

(2) A report under subregulation (1) must include:

  1. the outcomes of reviews of the assessment, plan and controls for the management of geotechnical and hydrogeological risks for the declared mine, taking into account the results of monitoring carried out under the monitoring plan, and details of:
    1. the implementation of control measures
    2. any stability modelling undertaken
    3. any significant changes in the operation of the declared mine
    4. implications for the mine design components

  2. the results of the monitoring plan set out in the work plan
  3. a description of activities taken to implement the declared mine stability controls and the groundwater control system set out in Part 2 of Schedule 15 and any recommended changes to the work plan.

4. Contents of six monthly report

Industry best practice in geotechnical and hydrogeological engineering should be applied when completing these six monthly reports.

The six monthly reports should demonstrate a site’s compliance with ground control management procedures as set out in the approved work plan and related management plans.  The report should demonstrate the periodic review of mining hazard management plans for the management of major mining or quarrying hazards (geotechnical and hydrogeological) and highlight changes made to relevant plans in managing changing ground conditions. As a guide the six monthly report can use the outcomes of practices and procedures within a site’s GCMP as the basis for report contents.

The report should provide a brief outline of the nature of and response to significant mine stability issues encountered during the reporting period. The report should:

1. Report on stability performance criteria during the reporting period:

  • Summarise in a table and/or plan for each mine or quarry stability domain (or mine / quarry area) whether stability performance criteria have been met for the reporting period and, if not, a brief description of the nature of any stability criteria not met e.g. ground movement, groundwater level.  This may be indicated by monitoring review against Trigger Action Response Plans or observed stability performance.
  • Where stability performance criteria have not been met, provide details of the stability issue and the extent of the mine or quarry area at risk.  Any stability risk issue that may potentially extend beyond the license or work authority boundary should be identified.
  • Clearly and concisely outline what control actions were / are being taken and how the effectiveness of actions have been / will be reviewed.
Brief discussion on the nature of the stability issue reported and analysis of ground movement against criteria should be supported by plans, diagrams and graphs illustrating the stability issue, historical stability performance and its significance related to stability criteria.


Any major stability related reports, including geotechnical or hydrogeological modelling, prepared during the reporting period should also be listed with a brief description of the report contents.

2. Report on stability performance risks beyond the reporting period:

  • Provide a work program to address mine stability risk issues identified where they extend beyond the reporting period
  • Indicate where practices are to be changed to improve management of stability risks
  • Where applicable, report stability conditions in mine domains which the Technical Review Board consider to be at risk
  • Report stability conditions in mine or quarry areas that potentially pose ground stability risks to significant external infrastructure, public safety or the environment
  • Identify areas in which an increased stability risk may be expected in the next reporting period and what control measures are to be implemented.