Low-impact activity changes proposed

A framework has been released by DMP for low-impact authorised activities
Date: Friday, 10 April 2015

The changes would affect low-impact prospecting and exploration activities 

Some prospecting and exploration activities may be eligible for a new notification system that is being proposed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).

Under the proposed Low Impact Authorised Activities Framework certain activities may be exempt from individual environmental assessments, and instead be subject to prescribed environmental standards.

Environment Division Executive Director Dr Phil Gorey said the framework was recently published for stakeholder comment.

“Under proposed amendments to the Mining Act 1978, low impact activities will be administered under a notification process,” Dr Gorey said.

“This would require tenement holders to notify DMP of the nature of the activity, as well as when the activity was due to start and finish.”

Under the proposal, tenement holders will be required to demonstrate that the intended activity meets the low impact activity criteria which will be prescribed in the Mining Regulations 1981.

“Once DMP is notified tenement holders will be able to commence low impact activities,” Dr Gorey said.

“The department will not undertake an individual assessment, so there will be no requirement for the tenement holder to wait for an approval.

”However, the activity will still be subject to DMP’s compliance and inspection program.

Current obligations on tenement holders to meet their tenement conditions will remain in place, and failure to comply with the prescribed obligations will subject the tenement to enforcement action under the Mining Act 1978.

A consultation paper outlining the proposed definitions of low impact authorised activities, and the relevant prescribed environmental obligations, has been released by DMP.

The paper is open for public comment until 5pm 28 May 2015.

More information about the framework and the discussion paper are available on the DMP website or by emailing reform@dmp.wa.gov.au