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LRMA News 17 December 2008

THE YEAR IN REVIEW


It has been a mixed year for the opal mining industry; fuel prices were high, Australian dollar high and commodity prices low; but fuel prices have now dropped, the dollar has dropped and opal prices will pick up.

We have had a fun and games in the Mining Warden’s Court beginning with the determination of an Access Management Plan for ‘Wyoming’ and an application for additional compensation for ‘Muttabun’. We achieved excellent results in both cases with a sensible workable access management plan for Wyoming and Mr Slack-Smith withdrew his claim for compensation and the Warden awarded costs against Mr Slack-Smith. Mr Parkins has now appealed part of the Warden’s decision to the Supreme Court and the Lightning Ridge Mining Board has commenced a review of the compensation scheme. Compensation and access management plan issues will be with us for some time to come.

Legislation has passed through Parliament to abolish the Mining Warden’s Court and mining matters will be moved to the Land and Environment Court. A Commissioner of Mining will be appointed and the court will continue to travel to Lightning Ridge.

We are clearing the last hurdles for the opening up of 12 new Opal Prospecting Blocks on Barfield which should happen early next year.

The LRMA security bond scheme has been introduced and many members are enjoying the convenience of lower bonds and the fact they can leave their bond in place and roll it over onto new titles.

LRMA members have also enjoyed a little extra income by tendering for jobs rehabilitating older mining areas through the rehabilitation levy. We have completed about six jobs this year and tenders for another ten will be let by the end of the year.

This year saw the introduction of the Environmental Awareness Course and Mines Operation Plans. The Department has been impressed with the miners increased understanding of environmental issues and how they can further reduce the impact of mining on their titles. We continue to lobby for a more practical regime particularly in relation to the Mines Operation Plans and hopefully we will see a return to over the counter titles next year.

The opal industry continues to support the NOMA Opal Fashion Bash to be held in Townsville next April. This year’s fashion bash continues to pay dividends with fabulous young women modelling and wearing opal and we are building up a good portfolio of photographs. Three of the Opal Fashion Bash’s models attend the Australian Opal Exhibition on the Gold Coast and two went onto attend the International Coloured Gemstone Association’s first trade show in Dubai.

2008 saw black opal made an emblem of NSW which will be a fantastic boon to the industry for decades to come.

The University of Sydney secured around a quarter of a million dollars to fund research into opal over the next three years.

All in all not a bad year and we trust 2009 will be even better. The Board and staff wish all our members a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2009.

The LRMA office will be closed for two weeks from this Friday and reopen on Monday 5th January 2009.

The LRMA Opal Advisory Service is also closed for the year and they will reopen on Saturday 7 February 2009.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Maxine O'Brien
Secretary/Manager
Lightning Ridge Miners' Association Ltd
PO Box 177, Lightning Ridge NSW 2834
Ph: 02 6829 0427, Fax: 02 6829 0830
Mob: 0427 920 474
Email: lrma@lightningridge.net.au

17 December 2008 06:32pm
LRMA News 10 December 2008

LRMA OFFICE


Christmas is fast approaching and the LRMA office will be closed for two weeks. Friday 19th December will be the last day of the year the office is open and we will reopen on Monday 5th January 2009.

The LRMA Opal Advisory Service will hold its last pricing this Saturday 13th December and they will reopen on Saturday 14 February 2009. Thank you to all those involved in providing the invaluable service under the direction of Josef Schellnegger.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Maxine O'Brien
Secretary/Manager
Lightning Ridge Miners' Association Ltd
PO Box 177, Lightning Ridge NSW 2834
Ph: 02 6829 0427, Fax: 02 6829 0830
Mob: 0427 920 474
Email: lrma@lightningridge.net.au

10 December 2008 12:11pm