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Newcrest has reaffirmed its commitment to rebuilding trust and confidence with the community and the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) in relation to its Cadia Valley Operations’ air quality.

In a statement this week, a Cadia spokesperson said the site was now compliant with clean air regulations.

“Mining responsibly is what the community expects of us, and what we demand of ourselves,” the Cadia spokesperson said.

“We remain firmly committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in our operations with the community and regulator so we can continue to support jobs, regional investment, and the energy transition.”

The statement was made in response to the EPA’s announcement it would commence legal proceedings against Newcrest in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

The EPA is alleging that Cadia exceeded clean air regulations in March 2022 by operating underground exhaust fans that launched unfiltered crushed ore into the atmosphere.

The EPA said this was an alleged breach of section 128 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

“All mining operations have mandatory legal obligations regarding air emissions to protect the community and the environment, and the community should be able to have confidence that these obligations are being met,” NSW EPA chief executive Tony Chappel said.

Newcrest reported that it was taking action after being ordered to comply with several environmental regulations relating to air quality by the EPA on June 30.

On July 6, Cadia Valley Operations general manager Mick Dewar said the EPA was right to highlight issues with the operation.

“The EPA has quite rightly pulled us into line on the lack of compliance because there’s too much dust coming from the vent rise,” Dewar said.

Newcrest stated in its June 2023 quarter report that it was “work(ing) openly and transparently with the EPA and the local community to ensure all statutory obligations are met in a way that is aligned with Newcrest values”.