Mining Act amendments cut red tape

Removal of iron ore authorisations a boon for business
Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Amendments to the Mining Act 1978 passed by State Parliament on 16 November as part of the Licensing Provisions Amendment Bill 2015 will cut red tape to save industry and the State Government time and money.

“The amendments have removed an outdated requirement to obtain iron ore approval, introduced Designated Tenement Contacts, and clarified who can hold Miner’s Rights,” Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Executive Director of Mineral Titles Dr Ivor Roberts said.

“It has been estimated that the removal of iron ore authorisations by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum could save the resources sector more than $1 million a year.

“This requirement applied to all forms of iron ore applications, from exploration, prospecting and retention licences, to mining leases.”

Dr Roberts said that iron ore authorisations dated back to the 1960s when the industry was in its infancy and iron ore was identified as a strategic resource.

“Removing the requirement to submit often lengthy and expensive evaluations is particularly good news for junior miners,” Dr Roberts said.

The formalisation of the Designated Tenement Contact (DTC) system follows a successful voluntary scheme introduced in May this year by DMP.

“We introduced the Designated Tenement Contact (DTC) initiative after feedback from stakeholders who felt a designated point of contact would be a significant advantage,” Dr Roberts said.

“It is also part of DMP’s ongoing commitment to encourage customers to use our online services and the use of emails for routine correspondence.”

Dr Roberts said that the section of the Mining Act relating to Miner’s Rights had referred to a “natural person” being eligible and that had been replaced by “any person”.

“This allows for a corporation to apply for a Miner’s Right,” Dr Roberts said. “It is only a small change, but DMP is keen for all of its processes to be as straightforward and transparent as possible, and this clarification was seen as a necessary step in that direction.”