The Western Australian Government is considering legislative solutions to provide assurance to the State’s mining industry following the recent High Court on the Forrest and Forrest case.
|Date:||Tuesday, 05 September 2017|
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has reassured miners that it will act swiftly following the recent High Court decision, Forrest & Forrest Pty Ltd v Wilson & Ors  HCA 30,which challenges the validity of mining lease applications not lodged concurrently with other supporting documentation.
DMIRS Executive Director Mineral Titles Ivor Roberts said the department had previously had a pragmatic approach to the administration of mining lease applications, accepting supporting documents (such as mineralisation reports) which were not lodged contemporaneously with the mining lease application.
“No interested party was disadvantaged by allowing supporting documents to be lodged separately. The department’s approach was supported by the Western Australian Courts, however, the High Court found that mining lease applicants must strictly adhere to the requirements of the Mining Act 1978 in order for a mining lease application to be valid,” Dr Roberts said.
“The High Court decision has created uncertainty and the Western Australian Government is considering legislative solutions to provide assurance to the mining industry regarding the security of granted mining tenements.
“Existing mining lease applications are being reviewed to determine whether or not there has been strict compliance with the requirements of the Mining Act. The department is developing a process to deal with those applications and affected applicants will be contacted in due course.
“Moving forward, the department cannot accept applications without all of the required supporting documentation. This is a timely reminder for industry to ensure that they have all of the required supporting documents and are in strict compliance with the Mining Act when lodging applications with the department.
Dr Roberts said that the department would be working as quickly as possible to address the situation where it can.
He reminded investors that WA is a stable and secure mining jurisdiction and while this recent decision has caused uncertainty, the department would be taking action to ensure it is addressed.