Detectives seize $50,000 worth of illegally mined gold near Kalgoorlie
|Date:||Thursday, 07 July 2016|
The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Mineral Titles Division has issued a warning to prospectors to ensure they are only working areas for which they have a right.
The warning follows a police investigation which has resulted in the seizing of more than a kilogram of gold allegedly unlawfully taken near Kalgoorlie, from an established mining lease on the outskirts of the town.
DMP Investigation Services Branch Lead Investigator Kevin Mancini said the best way to support the department in combatting illegal activity was to report it in a timely and comprehensive manner.
The following information should be provided where possible:
- Precise location of the activity (specific GPS coordinates are preferred, or a sufficiently detailed description of the location);
- Photographs or videos of the activity;
- Time and date the activity occurred or at least a time and date range;
- Details of any vehicles sighted including vehicle number plates;
- Details of any persons sighted or spoken to at the time of the incident, including their names and contact details;
- Specific tenement numbers if applicable; and,
- Your name and contact details.
Mr Mancini said any names or details will not be released and will remain confidential at all times.
“However, it may be necessary for you to give evidence in court if charges have been laid and if you have witnessed the activity actually taking place,” he said.
Detectives are expected to charge four people over the alleged taking of the gold, worth an estimated $50,000.
Gold Stealing Detection Unit (GSDU) officer-in-charge Bill Little said the gold was taken from the lease on June 4, with police receiving information several days later when those involved allegedly attempted to sell it.
Det Sgt Little said complaints of illegal mining and trespass onto gold mining leases were keeping his unit particularly busy, particularly after the recent spike in the gold price.
"What we're trying to say to people who are out here prospecting is please make sure you're following the rules," he said.
"Don't go where you shouldn't go, because we are actively investigating complaints, as is the Department of Mines and Petroleum."
DMP investigates unauthorised mining and other offences under the Mining Act 1978.
Reports of unauthorised mining can be sent to the department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org