Prosecution proceedings have commenced against Whitehaven Coal for alleged breaches of the states mining laws.
Whitehaven Coal is facing more than $16 million in fines if found guilty of the new charges filed in the Land and Environment court Tuesday 11th August.
The states resource regulator filed 16 charges alleging the mining company failed to rehabilitate drill sites, illegally drilled bore holes and allegedly building unauthorised tracks at its mine 24 kilometres from Boggabri.
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of $1.1 million and relates to section 378D of the Mining Act 1992.
Whitehaven Coal said in a statement they would continue to cooperate with the regulator to resolve the matter.
"Whitehaven has previously acknowledged this was an unacceptable incident. In response, the company took immediate rehabilitation action and implemented a range of longer-term management measures to ensure compliance with its environmental obligations in the Narrabri exploration lease area," a Whitehaven spokesperson said.
Whitehaven Coal is a leading producer of thermal coal in Australia and in the 2019 financial year the company recorded an after-tax profit of $564.9 million according to their website.
The mining giant also has another mine, Vickey Extension Project, currently in progress of being reviewed by the Independent Planning Panel.
The prosecution is scheduled to go before the NSW Land and Environment Court on September 18th 2020.