From the Executive Director

DMP Executive Director of Mineral Titles Ivor Roberts at the 7th Annual Mining the Pilbara Conference in Port Hedland.

Welcome to the Department of Mines and Petroleum's (DMP) Mineral Titles Division newsletter.

It has been an exciting year for the division, with a number of significant changes and developments, particularly the expansion of electronic lodgement (eLodgement) within the Mineral Titles Online System.

The Mineral Titles Division is constantly striving to improve its performance and this hard work is paying off, with a recent customer satisfaction survey of 683 clients reporting that an overwhelming 93 per cent of respondents used Mineral Titles Online to conduct business, with 88 per cent of those satisfied with the service.

Almost unanimously, 94 per cent of those surveyed agreed the ability to download digital data on the Mineral Titles Online System made doing business with the division easier.

These results have been extremely rewarding to see where the Mineral Titles Division is excelling, and useful to know where there is space for further improvement.

The division has also achieved great success in slashing WA's mineral title applications backlog to its lowest level in nearly two decades, with the total now sitting at around 5000, almost a 75 per cent decrease from February 2007.

The division continues to regulate a large number of mineral titles – more than any other state in Australia.

There are currently 23,000 licences, leases and claims, covering about 23 per cent of the State. This is a marked increase when compared to ten years ago, when 16,000 titles and 10 per cent of the State was being managed.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter, and as always, I welcome any feedback.

Dr Ivor Roberts

New fees from 1 August 2013

Tenement rent and fees listed in the mining regulations increased by 2 per cent, effective from 1 August 2013.

The new annual tenement rental rates are:

Exploration licence $119.00 per block (1st three years)
Prospecting licence $2.30 per hectare
Mining lease $15.70 per hectare
General purpose lease $15.70 per hectare
Miscellaneous licence $13.90 per hectare

For all other fee changes please visit DMP's website.

Performance bond retirement opportunity

A new initiative, the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF), will replace the need for the lodgement of performance bonds.

Most mining tenement holders will contribute to this pooled fund on a voluntary basis from 1 July 2013, with it becoming compulsory from 1 July 2014.

An online system is available to process these applications and subsequent return of bond monies to holders.

An MRF "hotline" (9222 3162) has been established to answer all queries.

A special team comprising of officers from the Mineral Titles and Environment Divisions is overseeing the entry of tenement holders into the fund. The team will ensure the quick and orderly release of bonds back to tenement holders who have paid their contribution into the fund. This will allow these holders to free up the money previously used to back up these bonds.

A departmental policy decision has been made that the MRF levy is an allowable administrative cost for the annual Operational Report (mining regulation Form 5). However, please remember that the regulations specify that administrative costs must be based on actual administrative costs up to a maximum of 20 per cent of the required minimum expenditure.

First year licence transfer policy to be expanded

Section 64(1)(b) of the Act requires that the Minister's written consent be obtained before a dealing or other transaction in or affecting an exploration licence may be processed during the first year of term, which mainly refers to the transfer of a licence.

The current policy stipulates that evidence must be produced of studies or theories that enhance the geological knowledge of the ground.

Consideration will now be given to any other reason why a transfer is being sought in the first year.

Each request for consent under this provision will be assessed on its merits. The new proposed tenement holder will be required to demonstrate their credentials as an explorer with sufficient financial and technical resources and an appropriate exploration programme for the tenement area (following a similar method to the documents accompanying exploration licence applications).

The transferee must supply a statement that they will continue the exploration programme as submitted with the original tenement application or submit a modified exploration programme.

The department will continue its policy of not approving a transfer if rent, fees or royalties are owing on the tenement. The Department will monitor the new policy to ensuring it is not abused by companies or individuals trading in exploration licences with no intention of exploring.

Streamlining for WA resources approvals

The State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to streamlining approval processes, slashing WA's mineral title applications backlog to its lowest level in nearly two decades.

The State Government has committed $5.5 million over the past six and a half years to assist DMP address the stalled applications.

The total now sits at around 5000, almost a 75 per cent decrease from the February 2007 figure of nearly 19,000.

This rewarding outcome was assisted by a specialist DMP taskforce that has worked throughout the past year to lessen applications from 6400 to 5050.

With a restructure underway in DMP's Tenure and Native Title Branch, the department aims to reduce WA's stalled applications to 4000 by June 2014.

DMP manages the largest number of granted mineral exploration and mining titles in Australia, which cover around a quarter of the State.

Mineral Titles Online System

There has been a significant change to the way Mineral Titles internally processes and scans forms and documents after they are submitted to the Department in hardcopy.

The new internal procedure will save significant time and resources by removing the convoluted 'returns' process, multiple handling, and more importantly, the re-scanning of the same documents will be eliminated, resulting in the physical movement of paper being greatly reduced.


eLodgement, or the ability to lodge forms via the internet, was introduced in 2011, and gives clients the ability to perform a large portion of their business transactions with the Mineral Titles Division anywhere in the world, at any time, online.

The statistics below indicate that eLodgement has been very successful and its use continues to grow with the introduction of new forms and business processes.

For some processes we can now see the impacts of two financial years of operation. For example, the online submission of tenement applications in 2012–13 made up 46.6 per cent of all the tenement applications lodged. Of the operations reports, 44 per cent (7863) were received online in 2012–13, and in July reached 53.3 per cent.

% of all total forms received

eLodgement form

2010 - 2011 (part)

2011 - 2012

2012 - 2013

July 2013






Operations Report





Application for a Mining Tenement










Extension of Term

Not yet released




Rent Payments

Not yet released




Application to Amend

Not yet released




Tenement Withdrawal

Not yet released





Not yet released




Partial Surrender

Not yet released

Not yet released




Not yet released

Not yet released




Not yet released

Not yet released



Extension of Time

Not yet released

Not yet released



Two additional eLodgement business processes 'section 40E - permit to prospect on a granted exploration licence' and 'permit to enter' will be included within Mineral Titles Online System from August 2013. They will be followed by additional processes in the coming months and clients are strongly encouraged to use this function.

Survey provisions being reviewed

The Mining Act 1978 and Mining Regulation 1981 are being reviewed to ensure survey provisions remain relevant and to recognise technology advances that have occurred within the surveying profession. The aim will be to update survey provisions and to ensure there is no ambiguity relating to the applicant's boundary pegging marks from being used as the paramount indicator of the location of a tenement or application for survey purposes.

It is important to note that the description of the boundaries of the land used in the tenement application is not always precise and ultimately the ground that is included in a tenement is what a survey determines, which will be based on the boundary pegging marks.

Maintaining tenement marking

Holders of mining tenements are reminded that the mining regulations require that boundary markings be maintained. Regulation 71 and 73 require the maintenance of boundary markings so that the holder can identify the boundaries of the tenement to anyone requiring that information, by pointing out to that person the posts, trenches and any other boundary marks defining the tenement.

Regulation 72 states that if sufficient boundary marks are not maintained then any person entering and commencing mining thereon will not be liable for damages if they cease mining as soon as the boundary marks are replaced and they are notified in writing to withdraw.

The maintenance of tenement marking is therefore extremely important in preventing or prosecuting potentially illegal activities. It is paramount to be able to identify tenement corners if a survey is required.

Once surveyed, the survey marks must also be maintained.

The changing face of our regional offices

Connie Cocksey has been appointed as the Regional Mining Registrar in Leonora. Connie is no stranger to the regional environment, having started her career with the Department in Meekatharra 13 years ago. Most recently Connie has been promoted from the Senior Royalties Officer position within the Department's Royalty Branch to the Leonora Regional Mining Registrar position.


Geoff Benson has been appointed as the Norseman Mining Registrar. Geoff has a degree in Environmental Science and is also familiar with the lifestyle of regional Western Australia, having been in local government for many years. Geoff is moving from Three Springs to take up the Norseman post. He has previously lived in the Goldfields and is looking forward to the challenges of his new position.


Tony Rees is leaving his post as the Mining Registrar in Norseman and is retiring from the public service. Tony joined the Department in Kalgoorlie in 2005 and was promoted to the position of Mining Registrar Norseman in April 2012 and has served the Mineral Titles Division with integrity.


Mining Registrar wanted for Marble Bar

The Mineral Titles Division remains committed to providing services throughout its regional offices and is continuing its recruitment campaign to appoint a suitably qualified candidate to the Marble Bar Mining Registrar position. In the interim the Marble Bar office remains open for business with a number of officers from within the Mineral Titles Division acting in the position.

DMP's Marble Bar Registrar Office was first opened in 1896, and has become an historical landmark for the Pilbara town.