DMP maintains approvals pace after December record

Rise in mineral exploration licence applications shows explorers are ‘picking up ground’.
Date: Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum has continued its high level of approval performance in the first quarter of 2016 with an average of 96 per cent of all applications finalised within target timelines.

A total of 97 per cent of mineral prospecting licence applications were approved within 65 business days while the number of mineral exploration licence applications increased from 466 in the first quarter of 2015 to 541 in the first quarter this year.

“It may only be a small rise, but this clearly shows that prospectors and mining companies are picking up ground to look for new finds,” Department of Mines and Petroleum Tenure and Native Title General Manager Tony Bullen said.

“It is imperative that mineral title applications are finalised in good time and land is not sterilised from access while stalled under application.

“Meeting benchmark timelines for approvals ensures ground remains open for further resource exploration and development.”

DMP has published results on its website showing that during the first quarter of this year, the department approved:

  • 97 per cent of mineral prospecting licence applications within 65 business days.
  • 99 per cent of mineral exploration Programme of Work applications within 30 business days.
  • 100 per cent of petroleum pipeline licence applications within 90 calendar days.

Approvals and Compliance Senior Adviser Graham Cobby said it was gratifying to see that DMP was keeping pace with its best-ever quarter for mineral titles approvals in the December quarter last year.

“Once again, we have exceeded the target of finalising more than 80 per cent of applications within target timelines,” he said.

“However, at 33 per cent, petroleum compliance approvals remain well below the 80 per cent target of applications finalised within 40 business days.”

Mr Cobby said that the petroleum compliance approval processes were under review.