Welcome to the latest edition of the Department and Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Mineral Titles eNewsletter.
As we enter a new financial year we look at the new fee structures that are effective from 1 July 2016. While rent has increased above CPI this has been made in lieu of introducing environment assessment fees.
DMP continues its commitment to providing enhanced digital services so that all transactions are available online.
The department encourages its customers to use online services as they become available, as this increases accessibility and encourages streamlined processing of applications and determinations.
In this edition of the Mineral Titles eNewsletter we also have an article on DMP’s obligation to recover outstanding fees, penalties and rents.
This will affect all mining tenements with an anniversary date from 1 July 2016 and debt recovery action will be taken where the rent remains outstanding.
Mining tenement holders are urged to evaluate the ongoing interest in a tenement prior to its anniversary date and determine whether or not to relinquish the tenement prior to its anniversary.
Finally, we explain the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA) datum conversion. Mineral Titles has been preparing for the introduction of this new GDA2020 spatial datum to compensate for the geological movement of the Indo-Australia tectonic plate to its position in the year 2020.
Mineral Titles will soon be seeking input from stakeholders about the datum upgrade and the options being considered to manage it.
We will continue to keep stakeholders informed at key stages as the project progresses.
The aim of this eNewsletter is to provide tenement holders and other stakeholders with the latest news, updates and ongoing initiatives from the department’s Mineral Titles Division.
I hope you enjoy it and I welcome any feedback you may have.
Acting Executive Director
The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is committed to providing enhanced digital services so that all transactions are available online. The initiative is designed to provide users with the flexibility of transacting at their convenience.
As a result, DMP is progressively making more of its transactions available online. Since 2011, DMP has made more than 18 Mining Act 1978 (Mining Act) forms available online with a further 12 scheduled to be released this month. The initiative has reduced processing times and improved ease of business by replacing the physical lodgment of Mining Act related forms and supporting documents at a Mining Registrar’s office.
The initiative is consistent with the State Government’s ‘Digital WA Strategy’ which aims to create cost effective and efficient online systems to access government services and transactions.
The current use of Mineral Titles Online is at a record high, in May 2016, 78 per cent of mining tenement applications were lodged online. By 1 July 2016, 90 per cent of transactions will be available for online lodgment, however, the Mineral Titles Division will still offer over-the-counter services.
DMP encourages its customers to use online services as this increases accessibility and encourages streamlined processing of applications and determinations.
Industry representatives of the Mining Industry Liaison Committee (MILC) have identified benefits of having a single point of contact for outgoing correspondence from DMP to each applicant/holder of a mining tenement . To facilitate this, DMP has introduced the concept of the ‘Designated Tenement Contact’ (DTC).
The DTC is a correspondence address provided by each applicant/holder of a mining tenement which will be used as the nominated contact for the tenement.
As from 25 May 2016, enhancements have been made to the Mineral titles Online to enable tenement applicants/holders to provide DTC details. The DTC forms part of the register, therefore changes to DTC details will be by an Application to Amend Form, ensuring the integrity of the register details.
Tenement holders can now nominate their DTC for existing mining tenements through Mineral Titles Online by selecting the ‘lodge application to amend’ option from the title related transaction list.
Further information can be found on our MTOL web page.
The limit on the credit card transaction amount has been increased to $99,999.00 and the number of transaction types where credit card payment can be used has also been increased by DMP.
All Mineral Titles Online transactions including rent payments can now be made by credit card providing the transaction amount is less than $100,000.00.
The latest schedule of fees and charges, effective from 1 July 2016, have been approved by Treasury and are available on the DMP website.
Fees have been adjusted 1.1 per cent in accord with the Perth September quarter 2015 Consumer Price Index (CPI) whilst rent has been increased by 3.4 per cent.
The 2.3 per cent rent increase above the CPI is in lieu of introducing environmental assessment fees.
In accordance with the provisions of section 114B of the Mining Act:
The expiry, surrender or forfeiture of a mining tenement does not affect the liability of the person who was the holder of the mining tenement immediately before its expiry, surrender or forfeiture —
DMP is obliged to recover outstanding fees, penalties and rents where the mining tenement has been relinquished after the anniversary date, but the rent remains outstanding.
Rent reminder notices issued by the department now include an endorsement highlighting the ongoing liability to pay rent in the event that the tenement expires, or is surrendered or forfeited, after the anniversary of the commencement date of the mining tenement.
Note that forfeiture action is commenced for breaching mining tenement conditions, including the condition to pay the rent in advance within one month of the annual anniversary of the commencement date of the mining tenement. An order for forfeiture is not made in lieu of the rent payment.
Likewise, any penalties imposed against a mining tenement that remain unpaid are debts to the State Government, regardless of any consequent forfeiture, surrender or expiry of the mining tenement.
Mining tenement holders are urged to evaluate the ongoing interest in a mining tenement prior to its anniversary date and determine whether or not to relinquish the tenement prior to its anniversary.
Tenement holders must accept that the rent is due for the year in advance and payable within one month of the anniversary; if the tenement is relinquished thereafter, the department will commence debt recovery action to recover any outstanding rent and any other penalty debts.
The Mining Title Register comprises both a textual description and a spatial description for all mining tenements throughout Western Australia.
The spatial description for exploration licences is a geographical coordinate set using the GDA 1994, comprising latitudes and longitudes., Because the Australian tectonic plate is shifting in a northeast direction at the rate of approximately seven centimetres per year, adjustments are required to the Australian datum and coordinate system. So rather than a continuous change, changes are made at certain agreed times.
A change of around 200 metres occurred in 1994 when Australia changed from the Australian Geodetic Datum (AGD) 84 to the GDA 94 datum. Another change of approximately two metres is currently being planned for introduction in 2017 with coordinates based upon position estimates in 2020.
The Mineral Titles Division has begun preparing for the introduction of this new GDA2020 spatial datum. The GDA2020 will be an update from the current GDA94 datum which will compensate for the geological movement of the Indo-Australia tectonic plate forecast to its position in the year 2020. This movement is very slow, about as fast as your fingernails grow. Over time this very slow movement will result in significant distances, which degrades the accuracy of locations described using an old datum.
This type of datum update happened previously when this department, previously known as the Department of Mines, moved to the GDA94 datum from the AGD84 datum in the year 2000. That datum shift was very large, at 200 metres. The new datum shift to GDA2020 is much smaller, at only 1.8 metres. As the difference is much smaller, and looking to the future where location precision and accuracy are becoming ever more important, Mineral Titles Division will investigate whether a similar approach to the datum shift as done in the past is appropriate to repeat, or if there is a better way.
The GDA2020 datum update will affect many tenements, particularly those described by the 1’x1’ Latitude/Longitude grid system (Exploration Licences). The Mineral Titles Division’s top priorities are managing the update smoothly and maintaining certainty of tenure for all tenement holders.
The Mineral Titles Division will soon be seeking input from stakeholders about the datum upgrade and the options being considered to manage it, and it will continue to keep stakeholders informed at key stages as the project progresses.
If you need further information please email the Mineral Titles Division firstname.lastname@example.org.