Draft mining amendment legislation to provide greater certainty

The Cook Government has approved draft mining amendment legislation needed to support security of tenure in Western Australia's mining sector
Date: Thursday, 13 June 2024
  • Draft mining legislation to ensure security of mining tenure and address key industry issues
  • Actions address High Court's Forrest & Forrest v Wilson decision and other matters
  • Powers to excise areas from the grant of an exploration licence to be introduced

Following the decision in the Forrest & Forrest v Wilson case in 2017, the High Court found that granted mining leases were invalid if they did not strictly follow the Mining Act 1978's process for preparing and lodging tenement applications.

As a result, the Cook Government will address procedural matters in the Mining Act 1978 to prevent future scenarios like those arising from the High Court's decision.

Changes will include amendments to address common pitfalls in the tenement application process such as the statements required to accompany an exploration licence application.

The amendments will also address the Blue Ribbon Mines v Roy Hill Infrastructure decision in 2022 that found the Mines and Petroleum Minister does not have the power to excise areas from the grant of an application for an exploration licence.  

Procedural changes to the Mining Act 1978 were proposed as part of the Mining Amendment (Procedures and Validation) Bill 2018, with validation matters addressing existing mining leases remaining subject to ongoing consultation with the Federal Government to consider Native Title Act 1993 amendments.

Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister David Michael:

"The Cook Government understands the importance of Western Australia's mining sector to the State and national economies, much of which is underpinned by security of tenure.

"Splitting the draft mining amendment legislation in two will speed up the legislative process and deliver greater certainty to industry.

"We will continue to work with the Australian Government to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders, including Traditional Owners."