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Invalid opal mining claims spark outrage among miners


Miners gathered outside Lighting Ridge Miners Association last Thursday. Photo TWH

A heated gathering occurred at the Lightning Ridge Miners Association last Thursday, as more than 100 opal miners protested an announcement by the New South Wales government.

The announcement said that all mineral claims granted between January 1, 2015, and February 13, 2023, were invalid due to flawed administrative processes.

As a result, miners are now required to have their original mineral claim applications redetermined.

The miners have expressed frustration with the Department of Mining, Exploration, and Geoscience, emphasising a collective sentiment of ‘you broke it, you fix it’.

Where claims have been invalidated, miners must halt all activities, leading to a significant inability to work for many individuals in the industry.

The shutdown of the invalidated claims has triggered an outcry, as miners forced into the confusing and time-consuming task of reapplying.

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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