High level of approval performance continues

March quarter report shows steady number of mining and petroleum applications
Date: Thursday, 04 June 2020

The number of mining and petroleum applications received by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) during the first quarter 2020 was relatively steady despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While government agency staff working arrangements changed during COVID-19, the department met all but one of its key approval processes within target timelines.

Notable results included 97 per cent of Mining Lease applications being approved within the target timeframe, up from 86 per cent in the fourth quarter 2019.

Other noteworthy outcomes included 98 per cent of Programme of Work (PoW) applications being approved within the 30 day target timeline and 97 per cent of Exploration Licences being approved in the 65 day target timeline.

The department finalised 79 per cent of Petroleum Tenure and activity applications against its aim to assess greater than 80 per cent of applications within the target timeline.

DMIRS Director General David Smith said the March quarter results and the number of applications were encouraging.

“I am very pleased the department maintained its high level of approval performance during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Smith said.

“Our approvals processes are robust and we will continue to work with industry to identify opportunities to streamline the system and improve outcomes.

“The resources industry will play a very important role in Western Australia’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery and DMIRS remains committed to supporting those efforts.”

On 26 February 2020, the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston announced that DMIRS will reduce its target for PoW applications for exploration activities from 30 to 15 business day, effective  from 1 July 2020.

Minister Johnston said the move would support the State Government’s commitment to reduce red tape.

The Quarter 1 2020 DMIRS Approvals Reporting can be viewed online.