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LRMA News 20 January 2009

COMPENSATION FUND GOING BROKE



The compensation fund that has been in existence since 1992 went into the red at the end of May 2008 and will be even further in debt at the end of May 2009 by quite a considerable amount. The expenditure or payments from the compensation scheme to landholders has remained fairly constant over the past ten years although it has dropped in the past two years but the revenue coming into the scheme has decreased substantially, particularly over the past five years.



The current landholder compensation scheme is a voluntary one for the landholders and is administered by the Lightning Ridge Mining Board (LRMB). All miners currently pay $30 per mineral claim and the landholders can elect whether they are paid as per the number of claims on the property or are paid up to $4.00 per acre adjusted on a sliding scale depending upon the density of mining activity in each identified paddock.



If there is more than one claim per 30 acres the landholder receives 100% ($4.00 per acre); one claim per 30-60 acres they receive 50% ($2.00 per acre); one claim per 60-100 acres 20% ($0.80 per acre); and less than one claim per 100 acres they receive 7.5% ($0.30 per acre). For seven out of the past ten years expenditure has exceeded revenue and the fund is now in deficit.



There is an obvious issue with compensation being collected from miners on a per claim basis but paid out on a per acre basis. There are a couple of landholders who elect to collect their compensation on a per claim basis so whatever comes in is the same amount that goes out.



Landholders can also claim for other losses because of mining activity such as stock losses or cut fences and these payments are approved by the LRMB.



The LRMB has formed a sub-committee to identify various options and make recommendations on the best way forward. The sub-committee need to address how to square the books and then what happens in the future. Members on the sub-committee chaired by the Secretary of the LRMB include a representative from LRMA, GGSMA, NSW Farmers and Department of Lands.



The sub-committee will be making their recommendations to the LRMB at their next meeting on 12 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


12 February 2009 10:37pm
LRMA News 13 January 2009

NEW RESEARCH KICKS OFF 2009



We had a visit this week from Alex Fink, PhD student with La Trobe University in Melbourne. Alex is investigating potch opal from Lightning Ridge and is with the Physics department. Thank you very much to those miners who took Alex around the fields and underground to collect samples, particularly Fred Mallouk, Richard and Justine Buckley and Bob Barrett.



Alex will hopefully present some of his findings at the National Opal Symposium in Winton, Qld on 7-11 July 2009. He will also return to Lightning Ridge and present his findings when he completes his thesis.



If any other miners are interested he would like some more samples of potch and he is especially interested in a sample of a nobby with water in the centre. Other samples that will assist him are potch with a darker centre and lighter potch around the outside. We also need to know the exact location or claim number where the sample came from as he needs to document any variations between locations. If you can help please drop into the LRMA office.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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


12 February 2009 10:34pm