List of documents due for publication now available
|Date:||Wednesday, 26 February 2020|
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s annual release of mineral exploration reports will commence at the beginning of May.
Under Regulation 96(4) of the Mining Regulations 1981, also known as the Sunset Clause, mineral exploration reports that were submitted under Section 115A of the Mining Act 1978 and held by the department for five years may be released to the public.
Executive Director Geological Survey and Resource Strategy Jeff Haworth said tenement holders and operators are able to submit objections for two months following the listing of the eligible reports.
Regulation 96(5) states that the Minister may, upon the written application of the holder of a mining tenement, refuse to release the information for a further period or further periods not exceeding five years in each case.
“The first five year period of confidentiality is mandatory,” he said.
“Following an acceptable objection from the tenement holder, a further period of confidentiality is granted at the Minister’s discretion.”
Objections made in 2015 to the release of reports submitted in 2009 have now lapsed and need to be renewed or the reports will be released. A list of those reports is available on the department’s website along with a list of reports that were submitted in 2014 which are due for release.
The closing date for objections for the current sunset clause release is 30 April 2020.
The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) is reviewing objections received to the release of ‘Grandfather’ reports that were advertised in October 2019.Those reports were submitted between 1985 and 2001 but were not made public in 2006 due to objections being lodged.
“The department has already released more than 880 mineral exploration reports from 1985 to 2001 following that extraordinary release process,” Mr Haworth said.
“We are reviewing objections lodged as part of that process, and it is anticipated more reports will be released.
“Mining and exploration data is a valuable resource for the State, mining and exploration companies, and the geoscientific community at large.
“The release of this data has received widespread support from industry and the industry representative bodies.
“A new extraordinary release of ‘Grandfather’ reports under the sunset clause will be announced later this year.”
Mineral exploration reports are made available to external stakeholders through the department’s Western Australian Mineral Exploration WAMEX database.