Novembr 16-18—COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Annual show; The Columbia, SC Gem and Mineral Society; Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5
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 Post subject: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:42 am 
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Location: Central Queensland, Australia
Well, I just walked in the house after getting back from a five hour drive and the phone rings - it's the Emerald office of the Queensland mines department.

Now as anyone who has read the garnet thread knows, my experiences with pegging a small miners claim have been nothing short of horrendous. After going through all the "proper legal avenues" all I have after three years is a pile of paperwork written in legal drivel, a hole in my wallet and nothing else.

"I'm afraid I have bad news about your claim applications" says the guy on the other end. "Your claims cannot be granted because the area has been deemed as environmentally sensitive".

What the f***?????!!!! It's a bloody GOVERNMENT DESIGNATED FOSSICKING AREA FOR THE PURPOSE OF SMALL SCALE SAPPHIRE MINING!!!!! In addition, it's also a shared lease with Kielambete station, which means cattle are run in the spot and have been for about a century. THis is just staggering! I'm still trying to come to terms with the monumental stupidy and sheer barstardry at play here. I have just been taken for a ride by my own state government. They are nothing but thieves, crooks and con-men with shiny taxpayer-funded offices.

Barry - get what you can and get the hell out before they shaft you as well!!!

I'm still too angry and stunned to think straight here but as I see it, one of the most important sapphire fields in the southern hemisphere has it's days numbered, not because the stone is running out but because sheer bureaucratic madness has been allowed to prevail..

Better get in touch with the QSMA to let them know that the livelyhoods of their members and the very communities of Sapphire and Rubyvale themselves are facing a grave threat to their existence.


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:40 am 
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Just been on the phone to the president of the QSMA, the body that represents small-time sapphire miners in Queensland. He thinks it sounds very unusual - I have received no official paperwork from the department office signed by the mining registrar with the reasons and the act they are empowered under clearly spelled out (though it could still be on it's way I guess). A simple, verbal notification by phone with a somewhat vague explanation (though I probably didn't give him all that much time before I went ballistic) is NOT normal protocol.

I have been made aware that the owner of a cattle property which shares the land on which my claim applications just happen to be by leasehold, has been making a push to have the land declared freehold and turned over to him. I am not making an accusation of official corruption, just noting the situation.

FMD, all I wanted was the right to scratch for a few sapphires on a tiny plot of land in an area specifically set aside for that very purpose by state government, something completely unremarkable - what I have so far gotten is out of pocket to the tune of two and a half grand, three years of my time wasted and now I appear to be possibly caught in the middle of something smelly :shock: :shock: :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:10 pm 
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Location: N Dakota
What I would do is form a club of small miners to share an interest in your claim so the department is forced to deal with 20- 50 people instead of 2. Being fully aware of the dealings of greedy land owners and crooked politicians 50 people and factual public attention to the situation usually puts a stop to the issues. Run for the office position dealing with mines if for no other reason than to shine some light where the corruption grows. They stole your $$ and time and faith. Turn up the spotlight!

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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:19 pm 
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If the light is bright enough they will either have to make it right or pay you off to shut you up. Just remember the price is always double your investment

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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:20 am 
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Really good advice from Dan and Sally. Look at how the "Panama Papers" have everybody running for cover!


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Ok, got back on the phone to the Mines department office. They tell me that they themselves have not actually rejected my application - it's just that it's no longer possible for them to approve it.

A different state government department - Environment and Heritage - has declared parts of Reward DFL (an area purposely set aside by government for small-scale sapphire mining) an ERE: Endangered Regional Environment.

The ERE which they have applied in a purpose-made small mining area supplants small mining legislation and expressly forbids mining on any scale within 500 metres of an ERE boundary. They sent me a satellite photo showing my small section of Reward DFL and the "pink zone", a no-dig zone which consumes both of my mining applications. Had I pegged my claims a mere hundred yards away, I would be in the clear.

Everybody is at least a little bit green around the edges today in an environmental sense - but to march into a purpose-designated small mining area and declare that chunks of it cannot be mined is patently ridiculous. I have no idea just how much of the designated mining area this thing locks up, nor what will happen to any existing claims caught up in it. There are two established working sapphire claims very close by - one bloke has lost about 90% of his claim to the ERE, the other about two-thirds.

The Mines department have not responded to my questions regarding how big this thing is or what will happen to possibly hundreds of existing claimholders (it was an afterthought after I got off the phone). Some of these people live on their claims - the small mining legislation states that you may reside on you mining claim as long as you are actually working it. If an ERE makes working the claim illegal, firstly these people - generally fairly poor people - will lose what little income they have and then in a double-whammy they will lose their homes since they cannot live there if they are not mining.

This looks like a case of clueless idiots sitting on their padded asses in capital city government offices dreaming up and passing legislation with no understanding of or regard for the consequences inflicted upon the people and communities that exist out in regional areas :evil: :evil: :evil: .

I've been in touch with the Queensland Sapphire Miners Association, we're still looking into it further. They surely can't implement this thing to the full extent or there would be another Eureka Stockade


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:58 pm 
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I feel your pain mate! We just had a call telling us a claim we have had for a year is now not recognised due to the EPA. Funny how people can dig on the surface yet we can't underground. I need to find out more info. I suppose we are lucky our original claim is ok.


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:18 pm 
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aussiejamie wrote:
I feel your pain mate! We just had a call telling us a claim we have had for a year is now not recognised due to the EPA. Funny how people can dig on the surface yet we can't underground. I need to find out more info. I suppose we are lucky our original claim is ok.


Hey Jamie, are you in Reward mate? I don't know if this thing is just in Reward DFL or if it spreads throughout the whole gemfields. I can't dig on the surface either - I asked Jason Turner from the Emerald office if people could still fossick on the spot - he said yes they can. Crazy!!

If there's enough of us affected, maybe we could lodge some kind of class action?

If this thing is widespread, or even just through Reward then established miners and residents stand to lose their livelyhoods and even their homes just because there's an endangered shrub supposedly growing nearby.

People are not going to visit the gemfields in their thousands just to look at a rare bush. SMALL CLAIMHOLDERS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE AREA AND THE TOWNS OF SAPPHIRE AND RUBYVALE. They also supply the Central Highlands Council with maybe a million dollars or more a year in rates - that's not just chump change for small towns like Emerald! Especially with the commodity downturn, places like Emerald are feeling the pain.

Are you a QSMA member. If you are, I'd be letting Greg Charlton or one of the other officials know asap. He is at a Native Title meeting today, he said he was going to bring my issue up - I don't think the Kangalou people representitives would even be aware of this thing yet.

Pig-ignorant inner city greenie deadheads, armed with power to wreck lives but no accountability!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:37 pm 
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We are out at Willows mate, so it sounds gemfields wide. I am going to checkout talk more to my partner and let him know about QSMA as his name is on the claims. We were given the rare bush speil too.


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:03 pm 
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Location: Central Queensland, Australia
This sounds like an organised attempt to stamp out small-scale mining!

I can't believe that these people think that a bush has more right to exist than communities of people, established for more than a century!


**** 'em!!

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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:54 am 
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Hey Lefty, a good means of getting some high powered support, is to contact Central Highlands regional council. They rely on the rates revenue from the gemmies, and would be stunned to hear what is potentially happening.
Baz.


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:03 am 
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Qld Barry wrote:
Hey Lefty, a good means of getting some high powered support, is to contact Central Highlands regional council. They rely on the rates revenue from the gemmies, and would be stunned to hear what is potentially happening.
Baz.


Exactly Barry!

Apparently this is available from Mines online maps. I've just been shown a satellite image purportedly showing the no-mining areas - you can't really tell without zooming in but from the size of it, it could easily cover the entire gemfields.

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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:35 pm 
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Sorry boys, it sucks to be in your shoes. Best advice I can give you is move on. You can change your mining practices to fossicking and starve to death, or move on to other areas. You cant beat the kind of money and power it took to superseed the existing laws no matter how illegal or political it is. Count your losses and be thankfull they didnt roll in and confiscate your equipment in the process. As I have said before the thieves come from all angles to steal what you have worked so hard to obtain. Here I can still legally shoot thieves and trespassers trying to steal my property if I feel it is life threatening. (I always do) And dead men cant testify against you. But you cant beat the pen without spending everything you have and then what have you really gained. Sorry for your loss mates.

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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:11 pm 
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Quote:
Here I can still legally shoot thieves and trespassers trying to steal my property if I feel it is life threatening. (I always do)


The way I feel at the moment, I would have to say that's the best idea I've heard all day :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: F*** the Queensland department of mines!!!!!!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:06 am 
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Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
Any chance you could amend your application based on NEW information that was not available and shift the location. They changed the rules on you, you should be able to change the application to accommodate the new rules. Just a thought. I know that in a lot of areas, someone else may already have the clear area claimed.


I also suspect that the original protected area boundary was a little arbitrary. Maybe you can ask for a review of the boundary to verify the placement. I worked with satalite imagery for 20 years. There is a process to geolocatge the imagery. On a large scale project this is sometimes a little soft.


If you have a good map you may be able to lay out the actual boundary on it based on the legal description of the set aide area. You can also check how the safe zone is applied. It is on the flat, or across the ground. If there it is a hilly area, you might be able to show that the safe zone distance i met, but it goes up and down a hill.


Just brain storming here. None of this probably helps.






I am just trying to see if you can use the rules that they set, and meet the letter of the law.


Just ideas.


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