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Lrma News 22 November 2005


The LRMA held its 32nd Annual General Meeting last Saturday and approximately 70 members attended. The President advised the members that the LRMA had met with the new Minister for Mineral Resources and he agreed that he would honour commitments made by the previous Minister to open up for prospecting new Opal Prospecting Blocks on the property ‘Wee Warra”. These blocks are meant to be balloted by the end of this month.

Drago Panich also advised before prospecting or mining commences on any new areas an Access Management Plan will need to be put in place and this may delay any activity depending on how long it takes to negotiate a Plan with the land holder. Miners will also be required to attend an environmental awareness course prior to commencing work on OPA 4. Future areas to be opened up will require further environmental studies which for the first two properties will be undertaken by the NSW Department of Primary Industries. The industry will be required to pay for the environmental assessments for the balance of the properties in Opal Prospecting Area 4.

The LRMA are still in the process of negotiating the security bonds and rehabilitation levy for Opal Prospecting Area 4 and the Department are flagging an astronomical increase in these bonds. The LRMA is still planning on underwriting the security bonds for its members but the details are to be worked out. We are also in the process of negotiating rehabilitation criteria and the claim conditions, which may be quite a bit tougher.

The President also flagged that for the future of the industry we also need to put in place relevant infrastructure for the new areas which includes waste dumps, washing facilities, roads and an artesian bore. There is currently an issue with the costs of establishing and maintaining waste dumps in the ‘Mulga’ area. The President advised that there will need to be a levy on mineral claims to cover the cost of waste dumps and a decision needs to be made as to whether to impose a levy across all claims or only those in the Grawin, Glengarry area and for OPA 4 as these are the areas incurring the vast majority of the costs.

The President expressed concern that there will be quite a lot of work undertaken by the LRMA Directors and staff and substantial expenses incurred to open up OPA 4. This will benefit the whole industry yet we are a member based organisation and the question is how far do we go on behalf of people who are not members.

Josef Schellnegger, Chairman of the LRMA Opal Advisory Service gave a brief report and advised that a little over $2 million had passed through the Service over the past year. The Opal Advisory Service will be closed for Xmas from 3 December and re-open on the first Saturday in February 2006.

The President thanked Director Mark Holland for the amount of time and energy he has put into getting the mining roads into shape and Mark received a rousing round of applause.

An election was held for President and Directors. Drago Panich was re-elected as President. The Directors elected were – Ormond Molyneux, Anthony Melonas, Mark Holland, Stephen Turner, Kim Botfield, Danny Hatcher, Robert Barrett, Ken Lindqvist and Fred Mallouk. Jason Stone had previously withdrawn his nomination and we thank him for his efforts over the past year.

Maxine O'Brien
Lightning Ridge Miners' Association Ltd
PO Box 177, Lightning Ridge NSW 2834
Ph: 02 6829 0427, Fax: 02 6829 0830
Mob: 0427 920 474

26 March 2006 04:40pm
Lrma News 15 November 2005


The LRMA AGM will be held this Saturday, 19 November at the Lightning Ridge Bowling Club starting at 11am. There will be Christmas lunch and drinks immediately following the AGM.

One of the roles of the members at the AGM is to vote for their Board for the following year. We have the following nominations for President:-

Radomir Babic Nominated: Mick Babic Seconded: Russell Holz

Drago Panich Nominated: John Emerson Seconded: George Mulder

The following have nominated for the position of Director: -

Robert Barrett Nominated: Gavin Thomson Seconded: Alan Hobden

Kim Botfield Nominated: Greg Johnson Seconded: Murray Turner

Daniel Hatcher Nominated:Anthony Melonas Seconded:Josef Schellnegger

Mark Holland Nominated: Terry Pocock Seconded: Greg Johnson

Andrew Lindsay Nominated: Mark Holland Seconded: Drago Panich

Ken Lindqvist Nominated: Marie Lindqvist Seconded: Lyn Carney

Frederick Mallouk Nominated: Richard Mallouk Seconded: Trudi Mallouk

Anthony Melonas Nominated: Daniel Hatcher Seconded: Mark Melonas

Ormond Molyneux Nominated: John Molyneux Seconded: Don Johnson

Jason Stone Nominated: Patrick Smith Seconded: Mark Melonas

Stephen Turner Nominated: Kim Botfield Seconded: Margaret Mansfield

All financial members are invited to attend the AGM and Xmas party and we hope to see you all there. If you are not financial, please renew your membership as soon as possible.


The President and Directors of the LRMA met with the new Minister, the Hon Ian Macdonald, MLC at Parliament House last week. The LRMA explained the current state of the opal industry, how it works and the importance of opening up new ground in OPA 4 as soon as possible. We also explained the measures that have been put in place to improve the environmental performance of the industry and the current rehabilitation trials that have been conducted on the Allah’s and Wyoming fields.

The Minister gave us an assurance that he will honour the pervious Minister’s commitments in relation to opening up OPA 4 and hopefully we will see the release of the Wee Warra paddock in the near future.

The LRMA also met with the Department of Primary Industries in Maitland to continue the discussion on the Opal Prospecting Licence conditions, Mineral Claim conditions and rehabilitation standards for OPA 4. These are looking pretty tough and negotiations are continuing. The President will give a full report at the AGM.

26 March 2006 04:38pm