Director's foreword

Executive Director, Environment, Phil Gorey

Executive Director, Environment, Phil Gorey

Nominations have been made for this year’s Golden Gecko awards. The selection has always been a difficult task and this year is no different. In light of this, we have changed the model and format for the Golden Gecko awards so that it becomes more visible across the industry. Finalists show such innovation that we would like to ensure that their ideas are shared.

Therefore, this year we are opening up the award ceremony, which will be held on 9 October, to everyone in the industry. We are organising a seminar, starting at 3pm, where all the finalists will present their projects, followed by a cocktail reception, which will be included in the price of tickets.  This is an excellent networking opportunity and a chance to meet the Minister for Mines and Petroleum and the who’s who of the mining industry.  You will need to be quick to purchase tickets as seats will be limited. Further information will be provided in the next edition of e-News. However, in the meantime, mark 9 October in your calendar.    

Talking about awards, the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) is a finalist in this year’s Premier’s Award. This is all due to the effort and dedication that the MRF team has put in, as well as our industry partners that have been so supportive of this initiative. We may be making mining history – in 20 years, I expect many mining jurisdictions around the world will have an MRF themselves, most likely modelled on ours.


Dr Phil Gorey
Executive Director Environment

Golden Gecko awards 2014

This year's Golden Gecko Awards will take on a new format with the prestigious environmental excellence awards night becoming open to all of the resources industry for the first time in its history. 

The awards, launched in 1992, recognise excellence and leadership, and acknowledge the outstanding contribution recipients have made to develop WA's resources in a responsible manner.

This year's event will be staged in two parts, a brief seminar where finalists will present on their submissions, followed by a cocktail networking event where the Golden Gecko award/s will be announced by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion.

Golden Gecko Awards for 2014

Date:                                                   9 October, 2014

Venue:                                                Duxton Hotel
                                                            1 St Georges Terrace

Seminar:                                            3:00pm – 5:00pm
Golden Gecko Awards Event:        5:30pm – 8.30pm 

Ticket Cost:                                       $80 per person, includes                                                             drinks and canapé package.
                                                            TICKETS ARE LIMITED!


To be considered for the award, a project must be related to environmental management in Western Australia's resources sector and must:

A team of environmental officers (the assessment panel) from various government agencies assess each of the eligible entries by attending site visits and presentations.  

Entries are judged against the Golden Gecko criteria, not each other, so there may be more than one Golden Gecko presented each year.

Once all assessments have been undertaken, the assessment panel make recommendations to the selection committee (consisting of independent representatives from the resource, community and environment sectors) that has the final decision on Golden Gecko and Certificate of Merit recipients.

For further information on the Golden Gecko awards, please contact the Golden Gecko co-ordinator Richard Smetana by phone: (08) 9222 3639, email: or visit the Golden Gecko website.


Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) Update

Tenement holders were required to provide a disturbance report for the MRF by 30 June 2014. On 1 July, notices were sent to holders to pay the first compulsory MRF levy.  Tenement holders who failed to comply with the legislation face a $4000 fine for every tenement of which they are the holder of if they did not provide their report/s by 30 June 2014.

The MRF team has written to all holders three times since April last year with information on how to register and report for the MRF. Those holders who have already registered but have not completed their 2014 report have received email reminders to complete their reports by 30 June 2014.  The MRF team has also visited a number or regional centres through 2013 and 2014 to assist holders with both the registration and the reporting.

During the voluntary year, DMP were able to retire over $290 million held in Unconditional Performance Bonds (UPB) and those holders who opted in contributed over $6.7 million in voluntary payments to the fund.

Audit of MRF Disturbance Reports

As part of DMP’s compliance regime, in April and May 2014 the MRF team took a number of random samples of the MRF submissions received for the voluntary year and commenced desktop audits for accuracy of data, targeting large and medium mining tenement holders and holders of small operations including exploration and prospecting tenements. Several submissions already received for the compulsory period were also audited. 

The aim of the audits is to ensure industry has a sound understanding of the reporting requirements for the MRF and, furthermore, that DMP is receiving accurate data regarding the level of mining and exploration disturbance across the state, and apparent rehabilitation liability.  

A large number of desktop audits of compulsory period submissions will be conducted in August and September 2014. Furthermore, audits of MRF data will be conducted annually with a supporting process and an EARS2 module for audits to be recorded in and tracked.  

Dead Tenements with Unconditional Performance Bonds

The Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) applies to live tenure under the Mining Act 1978.

Through the implementation of the MRF, an audit of all Unconditional Performance Bonds (UPB) held against dead tenements has commenced. 

The process to determine if a UPB should be retired to the tenement holder, or called in on behalf of the Minister for Mines for use in rehabilitation is in development and will be rolled out shortly. 

Tenement holders will soon receive a letter requesting rehabilitation information, this will be assessed and a resolution of the UPB status will be determined.   

To date, the MRF team has been able to recommend the retirement of UPBs held on dead tenements to the value of $3.2 million.

Mining Rehabilitation Advisory Panel

The Mining Rehabilitation Advisory Panel met for its second formal meeting on 12 June 2014.  One of the items for discussion by the Panel was the consideration of priority sites for a pilot abandoned mine rehabilitation project.

Advisory Panel Chairman Michael Slight said the panel was excited to start providing advice on the rehabilitation of Western Australian abandoned mine sites.

“We are keen to see a big difference in the abandoned mines legacy we have here in Western Australia,” Mr Slight said.

“Using a risk-based approach, we will look at the community safety and environment issues at each of the sites put forward by DMP to prioritise which sites need attention first.”

The recently established panel will also provide guidance to DMP on administration of the MRF including reporting requirements, disturbance categories and rate reviews.  

Environmental Bonds Policy

DMP has released a new policy ‘Administration of Mining Securities’ to describe circumstances when an Unconditional Performance Bond (UPB) may still be a requirement for tenement holders following the implementation of the MRF on 1 July 2014. A UPB may still be required by mining act tenement holders deemed a high risk for not previously completing their rehabilitation obligations under DMP’s revised bond policy.

Tenement holders identified as having a high risk of rehabilitation liability reverting back to the State will be required to pay, or maintain their environmental bonds.  Maintaining environmental bonds for high risk tenement holders will protect the MRF and ensure interest generated from the fund can be used to rehabilitate the existing abandoned legacy mines across the State and discourage any future occurrences.  

DMP will be reviewing applications closely to determine if an environmental bond is required in addition to their annual contributions to the fund.  An environmental bond can be retained or imposed where a tenement holder is under administration, has not complied with environmental obligations, has breached their reporting requirements or not made royalty payments.  Environmental bonds can also be imposed on all tenements relating to a specific tenement holder, if that holder is deemed a high risk of abandoning their rehabilitation obligations.

The new bonds policy came into effect on 1 July 2014 to coincide with the MRF becoming mandatory. View the Administration of Mining Securities June 14 document.

For all enquiries about the MRF please email or phone (08) 9222 3162.

GEMG 2014 Workshop on Environmental Management

The Goldfields Environmental Management Group (GEMG) Workshop on Environmental Management held May 21-23 provided workshop delegates, including DMP environmental officers and managers with over 30 presentations on a suite of environmental management issues from:

This event is unique in providing a forum for both debate and dialogue on contemporary environmental management knowledge, as we strive for excellence in all parts of the Western Australian landscape and the mining industry.  DMP took this opportunity to engage with delegates on the following key reforms being undertaken:

The use of LiDAR in rehabilitation performance and landform stability monitoring’ by Soil and Water Group was voted best presentation by attending delegates.

DMP would like to commend Wayne Astill, GEMG President and the GEMG Workshop Steering Committee for the excellent job of putting together what is widely regarded as Western Australia’s premier mining environment management forum and also thank them for their hospitality.  DMP believes the workshop provides a great opportunity for all stakeholders to stop, collaborate and listen.  DMP would also like to extend its gratitude to the GEMG workshop sponsors for their support of this event. 


Many thanks to Laura Copeland, Kalgoorlie Environmental Officer, for her contribution as the Goldfield Environmental Management Group's (GEMG) secretary, and as an integral part of the 2014 GEMG Workshop on Environmental Management Steering Committee, Laura provided yet another outstanding workshop.

To Danielle Risbey, Team Leader Minerals South, for being awarded one of the GEMG's inaugural honour awards for service to the GEMG for continued and ongoing support of the GEMG and its objectives of improving knowledge sharing in environmental management practices within the mining industry. 

Change in Mineral Fields in Minerals South

In May, DMP's operations area made the following small changes to how its minerals fields are distributed to its three assessments and compliance teams:

Southwest Region
Mineral Fields: 01, 02, 63, 66, 70,74 & 77

Midwest/Northern Goldfields Region
Mineral Fields: 20, 21, 36, 37, 38, 51, 53, 57, 58, 59, 66

Goldfields Region
Mineral Fields: 15, 16, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 39, 40, 69

Please view the updated inspectorate map and the officers responsible.

The reason for the change was to even out the assessment and compliance workload across the teams.  In addition to the above change, PoW-P (Program of Works – Prospecting) for all the goldfield mineral fields will be assessed by the Kalgoorlie, DMP office.  This will assist stakeholders to receive advice and support locally. 

Compliance Actions

The Environment Division manages an enforcement panel that considers alleged breaches of tenement conditions and provides advice to the Minister for Mines and Petroleum on whether penalties in lieu of forfeiture should be imposed. Information relating to these breaches, where penalties in lieu of forfeiture have been imposed, will now be available on DMP's website. The intention is to provide more information for industry on common types of breaches, so that tenement holders can ensure they don't make the same mistakes. Confirmed breaches during the first quarter of 2014 were:

Individual or Company


Details / Learnings for Industry

Detection by

Fine and date

Number of Tenements Involved


Altering or expanding operations without approval

Clearing without approval, infrastructure outside of approved area. Ensure all appropriate approvals have been granted prior to undertaking clearing activities and installing infrastructure.


 $10,000. 22/1/2014



Ground disturbance without approval

Drilling without approval, outside of application area, and off tenure. 5.4 ha of land disturbed. Ensure all appropriate approvals have been granted prior to undertaking any ground disturbance activity.


$10,000. 30/1/2014



Mining activity without approval

Mining activity commenced whilst proposal was still under assessment. Ensure all appropriate approvals have been granted prior to undertaking prior to undertaking any ground disturbance activity.


$5,000. 30/1/2014



Mining activity without approval

Sand being excavated without written approval. Ensure all appropriate approvals have been granted prior to undertaking any ground disturbance activity.

Annual Environmental Inspection

$5,000. 31/3/2014



Mining Proposal Reform Update

As part of the implementation priorities of Reforming Environmental Regulation (RER), DMP has commenced work to deliver risk and outcomes-based mining proposals.

What does this mean for industry?

The way in which operators have traditionally planned, prepared, structured, lodged and implemented mining proposals will fundamentally change.  This will involve changes to:

Amongst the changes being considered, DMP is proposing:

The detail behind these changes is subject to further work and will be communicated to an industry reference group over the coming months and through a revised Mining Proposal guideline in September 2014.  If you wish to participate in the industry reference group, please contact to put forward your request. If you wish to participate in the industry reference group you will likely need to make a time commitment of about one week.

At a high level, the key information required to be submitted in support of a mining proposal will essentially be divided into two parts:

Mining Proposal Reform Update

Approvals Performance Report

During the March quarter 2014, DMP finalised the majority of key approval processes within the target timelines.

DMP's electronic information systems recorded a total of 660 mineral tenure applications comprising 451 Exploration Licences, 153 Prospecting Licences, 36 Miscellaneous Licences, 15 Mining Leases, 4 Retention Licences and 1 General Purpose Lease. DMP's Mineral Titles Division finalised 95 per cent of mineral exploration licence applications and 89 per cent of prospecting licences within the target of 65 business days.

DMP received 441 Programme of Work applications and 63 mining proposals. 97 per cent of Programme of Work applications and 93 per cent of Mining Proposals were finalised within the target of 30 business days.

47 Native Vegetation clearing permit applications were received by the Environment Division during this quarter. 79 per cent of these applications were finalised within the target timeline of 60 calendar days.

DMP received ten mine safety Project Management Plans (PMP's) during the March quarter. 100 per cent of PMP's and Radiation Management Plans were finalised within the target of 30 business days.

Petroleum safety approvals performance is a new addition to the Approvals Performance Report. New safety case/safety management systems have a statutory timeline of 90 calendar days and revised safety case/safety management systems have a statutory timeline of 30 calendar days. During the March quarter, nine new and revised safety case, safety management system, diving safety and pipeline management plans were accepted by DMP. All of these petroleum safety plans were accepted within the statutory timeline.

Petroleum tenure, well and survey performance measures were below target timelines. 60 per cent of survey applications and 75 per cent of petroleum pipeline licence applications were finalised within the target timelines. A total of 108 petroleum environment plans and oil spill contingency plans were received for planned petroleum activities in the State. 91 per cent of petroleum environmental plans were finalised within the target time.

Online lodgement

During the March quarter, the percentage of mineral and petroleum tenure applications lodged online were as follows:

During this period, the percentage of mining and petroleum activity applications lodged online were as follows:

Since the introduction of DMP online lodgement facilities for key mining and petroleum approval processes, the level of resource sector uptake has steadily increased. In this quarter more than 70 per cent of all mining and petroleum applications were lodged online.

Online lodgement enables more efficient processing of applications for government. It provides the basis for approvals tracking for proponents, more certainty of process and, compared to paper based applications, a reduction in approval timelines. DMP is committed to progressively phasing out paper based applications by mid-2016.

DMP Approvals Performance – First Quarter 2014

The below table provides information regarding the number of mining and petroleum applications received by the department during the specified period. DMP timeline target, approval performance measures and number of applications carried over to the next quarter are provided for key approval processes. The timeline target applies to processes completed by DMP and does not include, for example, the time taken for assessment by other government agencies or where the assessment process is put on hold while additional information is being sought from applicants.

Approvals Performance Report