Opportunists broke into a mining operation after surveillance equipment was fitted.
Authorities recently investigated a robbery that caused extensive damage to NQ Minerals’ Beaconsfield mine.
A front-end loader was allegedly stolen from a nearby business and used to forcibly enter the mineral processing plant on the evening of 11 March 2023. Nobody realised what had happened until about 7:15am the following morning.
“Offenders have wrapped a chain around the mass of copper cables close to where they attach to the transformer, and tried to rip them free using the front-end loader. This caused the transformer to buckle and damage part of the overhead cabling structure,” Tasmania Police inspector Dean McMahon said in a public statement.
The proponent estimates the plant’s damage will cost about $1.5 million to repair. The mothballed operation was previously broken into many times, repeatedly delaying its reopening.
“They have broken in through our fences probably up to a dozen times. We have got holes in our security fences everywhere with patches over them,” NQ Minerals executive director Roger Jackson said according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“The plant refurbishment program was about to start and that was meant to take six months … [but] it could be a few months that it has pushed us back, and certainly cost an extra lot of money and a lot of stress.”
Jackson claims even new security cameras failed to stop criminal behaviour.
“They are that brazen that they have actually undertaken a break-in during the day while we have had maintenance staff working at the plant. These guys do not particularly care,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to phone 131 444 or 1800 333 000 and visit crimestopperstas.com.au