Director’s foreword

This year has started with a rush! We expect our major Director’s forewordlegislative reform package will be introduced into Parliament before mid-year and this package has only been achieved through a lot of hard work by many people both within and outside of the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP). I would like to thank staff in other departments as well as many industry and community members that have contributed to the development of these amendments. They will provide a means for environmental regulation of the mineral exploration and mining industry to properly meet 21st century expectations.

We are also currently putting into place the processes to introduce assessment fees for mining proposals and programme of work applications from 1 July. The next step in the process is to prepare the necessary regulations and changes to DMP’s online lodgement system to enable a smooth transition to the new scheme.

From 1 July, all mining proposals and exploration programme of work applications will require online lodgement. DMP is moving towards a fully online approach with the goal of having all systems and processes that are used by tenement holders and the public fully online by July 2016. We are looking at the huge success of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) and how it was rolled out to tenement holders and tenement management companies, as that is a model that has proven to work effectively. On this point, the MRF team will be undertaking more regional roadshows this year to provide further assistance where it is needed.

We will continue to identify ways in which administrative processes can be improved, such as the removal of annual environmental report conditions from some tenements. We always welcome ideas so please put forward any suggestions you may have.

Dr Phil Gorey

Executive Director Environment



Revised guidelines for Annual Environmental Reports now available

Revised Annual Environmental Report (AER) Revised guidelines for Annual Environmental Reports now availableguidelines are now available on the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) website following a period of stakeholder consultation. DMP believes industry operators will find these guidelines beneficial in providing clarity with respect to the online process and type of information required in support of an AER submission through EARS2. The revision of the AER guidelines also provides greater alignment with reporting obligations tenement holders have under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012.

The guidelines provide improved readability and clearer alignment with the structure of an online AER submission through EARS2. There has been some revision of key sections within the AER Guidelines, particularly with respect to the presentation of mine activity areas. In order to align with the reporting requirements of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012, there have been changes to the format in which disturbance and rehabilitation data is to be reported in the AER. ‘Mine Activity Types’ (formerly known as ‘Disturbance Types’) have been redefined and ‘Rehabilitation Category Stages’ have been reclassified to align with the requirements of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Regulations 2013. This information is now consolidated in the ‘Mine Activity Areas’ section of the AER.

The guidelines incorporate various figures to illustrate aspects such as the AER reporting period and relationship between projects, environmental group sites and tenements. The guidelines also include an example ‘Summary Table’ and ‘Tenement Activity Table’ which provides clear guidance for area reporting purposes.

Other noticeable changes to the guidelines include information regarding the reporting of mining areas associated with mineral exploration activities, clearer articulation of the AER reporting period, potential enforcement action for non-compliance, environmental group site submissions and the grouping of tenements on a project basis as well as public availability to information provided in the AER submission

DMP encourages all industry operators required to submit an AER to review the guidelines as an accurate AER submission will reduce the work needed of tenement holders required to comply with reporting obligations under the Mining Act 1978 and Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012.

The revised AER Guidelines can be accessed on the DMP website.



Removal of Annual Environmental Report conditions for small operators

The Department of Mines and PetroleumRemoval of Annual Environmental Report conditions for small operators (DMP) is committed to ensuring that important information regarding the progress of exploration, mining and subsequent rehabilitation is received through Annual Environmental Reports (AERs). However, DMP is also committed to simplifying and streamlining the reporting processes for tenement holders and eliminating the need for duplicate reporting.

A recent review of AER conditions was undertaken by the Business Services Branch and the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) team in the Environment Division of DMP. The review found that there were a number of mining tenements whereby operators (mostly prospectors) had an AER condition for an approved mining proposal or low impact mining proposal. In the case of 36 tenements, the operations were small, non-complex prospecting and compliant with environmental obligations, including reporting correctly and on time for their MRF report. Given the low impact nature of many of the activities on these tenements and the requirement for all tenement holders to now report their disturbance data under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 (MRF Act), it was deemed unnecessary that these tenements retain the AER condition, but be replaced with a condition requiring a final rehabilitation report at the end of operations instead.

The AER condition has been removed from these 36 tenements and the holders/operators of these tenements. DMP has already received a number of thank you phone calls from prospectors who are happy that they no longer need to submit an AER.








Compulsory online lodgement and assessment fees from 1 July 2015

From 1 July 2015, assessment fees will apply to programme of work (PoW) applications and mining proposals (MP). These fees have been set at $590 for PoWs and $6950 for MPs.

For exploration PoWs and all MPs that are not accompanied by a mining lease application (MLA), the only payment method will be by credit card and payment will need to be made when the application is lodged, which must be online.

Prospecting PoWs will continue to be lodged in hard copy, however payment will be required at the time of lodgment.

Mining proposals to be submitted with a mining lease application (MLA) will also require an assessment fee to be paid along with other payments associated with the mining lease application. MPs need to be submitted within 14 days of the MLA being lodged.

For all PoW applications, there will be an opportunity for an exemption of the fee when declaring that the proposal is 0.25 hectares or less in surface disturbance, and is not located in a reserve.

Guidance material is being prepared to assist with the submission of applications and Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) staff will also be able to help by telephone, email or over the counter.

Cutting out the paperwork - DMP goes digital

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has made significant progress on its flagship project to improve processing timelines cutting red tape and speeding things up for customers.

These improvements were the subject of extensive consultation and negotiation with stakeholders before their continuing implementation throughout the department as part of an internal improvement project – Digital DMP.

“We’ve made excellent progress on improving timelines and cutting red tape,” DMP Director General Richard Sellers said.

“Speeding up applications is a key improvement area and now almost 40 per cent of our customer transactions are being conducted digitally, with more than 30,000 customers already registered to use online DMP systems and services.

“Our target date to be almost completely online is mid-2016, but the exact date will be determined through continuing consultation with industry and other stakeholders on the areas that need improving.”

Mr Sellers said that he understood that DMP’s stretch target to make use of its online systems mandatory after 1 July 2016 was challenging, but pointed to achievements in the areas of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) and Programme of Work applications.

“The successful introduction of the online use of these programs reinforces our commitment to focus on customer service and maintain good communications with our stakeholders,” he said.

“We’ve talked to industry and taken their concerns on board and we will keep talking to them.

“The primary aim of Digital DMP is to streamline approvals and increase efficiency in our processes, and industry has been working with us to cut duplication and the amount of documentation required.”

Mr Sellers said that a small number of transaction types had been identified as being unsuitable for online systems and would be exempt when an online system that industry was expected to use became available.

“For example, Miner’s Rights will be exempt because it is important for applicants to have face-to-face contact with a Mining Registrar,” he said.

“Meanwhile, a number of digital milestones have been recorded.”

Registration, submission, processing and correspondence relating to the MRF are all now being done online and industry uptake had been exceptional.

By 30 June 2014, more than 95 per cent of almost 23,000 eligible tenements had registered for the MRF and submitted data online.

Mr Sellers said that despite some initial concerns that prospectors might struggle with an online system, they achieved the highest submission rates with more than 99 per cent of prospectors lodging their MRF data online by the end of June 2014.

In the Resources Safety Division, 100 per cent of Project Management Plans were being lodged online, as were 70 per cent of Mining Proposals and 87 per cent of Environment Plans within the Environment Division.

“We’re making impressive, steady progress and we will keep consulting with industry and the community to make sure these kinds of achievements happen without causing inconvenience,” Mr Sellers said.

“The reality is that this is the space the next generations are working in and we need to ensure our systems will be compatible with changing international standards and the needs and expectations of the younger workforce coming through.”

DMP’s electronic systems will be used for lodgment (where available) from 1 July 2015. Effectively, this will mean that customers will no longer have the option of using paper-based communication for transactions with an online option in place.

For the Environment Division, this means that for the following applications, after 1 July 2015, DMP will no longer accept hard copies of:

DMP is committed to making this transition as simple as possible and will be hosting information and training sessions in the coming months.

Reforming Environmental Regulation (RER) update

We’ve all heard the term “RER”. It has been nearly two years since the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) embarked on a program to reform environmental regulation and since then a lot has been delivered (see the RER update section in the Environment eNewsletter Edition 12 – 10 December).

A significant part of RER is to update our legislation. There are a few areas needing legislative change that DMP has been working on for the past 12 months. So, what have we achieved so far?

The big ticket item to date is amending the Mining Act 1978. The amendment will include a separate part within the Act on environmental management, removing the need for a clearing permit separate to an environmental approval, a new low-impact notification process and will allow us to introduce risk-based regulation. The amendment Bill is likely to be introduced into Parliament before mid-year.

Low Impact Notification Process

DMP recognises that small areas of disturbance can be managed with no environmental impact, and that many of these activities do not need an individual environmental assessment.  The sorts of activities considered to be potentially low-impact are those associated with prospecting and minor changes to existing projects (like installing a wind sock). Therefore, DMP is proposing to make some activities exempt from the requirement for assessment and instead will only require a simple notification process.

To support the changes being made to the Act, we are also working on changes to the Mining Regulations.  Some areas currently being addressed in Mining Regulations are:

All of DMP’s legislative changes are being drafted in consultation with key stakeholders and we will be running more consultation sessions in the near future. 

DMP would also like to hear from industry if you have an opinion about reforming environmental regulation in general, or what “low impact” means to you.  Please feel free to contact with your ideas or comments.

Expanding transparency of approved Mining Proposals

As a further step towards improving the transparency practices for environmental regulation, in May 2015 the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) will expand the range of Mining Proposal applications accessible through the public portal, MINEDEX. 

The public will be able to view summary records and download supporting documentation for all Mining Proposals that satisfy the following criteria

Summary records for Mining Proposal applications with a status other than ‘Approved’ will be viewable if the application is labelled ‘Public’, however documentation submitted to support these applications will not be accessible.

How do I access MINEDEX on the web?

MINEDEX on the Web is accessible via the DMP website:

MINEDEX on the Web is accessible via the DMP website

Further Information

Mining Proposal general enquiries

Phone:                    (08) 9222 3446

MINEDEX on the web technical enquiries

Phone:                    (08) 9222 0777

Mine Closure Plan guidelines review – status update and the transitional arrangements

The revised Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans (MCPs) are on track to be published in April. DMP would like to thank all of the organisations who provided feedback during the consultation process.

Please note that if a MCP is due within six months of the final publication date, the 2011 Guidelines can be used to submit a MCP.  It will be mandatory to use the 2015 Guidelines to submit MCPs from October 2015 onwards.

If you have any queries please contact your Regional Minerals Team Leader, using the Inspectorate Allocations Map if you are unsure which team leader to contact.

Environment Operations - Regional Team Leaders

Minerals North

Northern Region Team

Danielle Risbey
Team Leaders Minerals North
(refer map)
Phone: +61 (08) 9222 3593


Ryan Mincham
Team Leaders Minerals North
(refer map)
Phone: +61 (08) 9222 3587

Minerals South

Goldfields Region Team

Ian Mitchell
Team Leaders Minerals Kalgoorlie
(refer map)
Phone: +61 (08) 9222 3441

Midwest & Southwest Region Team

Daniel Endacott
Team Leader (Acting) Minerals South West Region, and
Team Leader Mid-West/Northern Goldfields Region
(refer map) Phone: +61 (08) 9222 3204

Native Vegetation

Minerals North & South

Clare Grosser
Team Leader Native Vegetation
Phone: +61 (08) 9222 3436

Mining Proposal reform update

Industry Reference Group for Mining Proposal Reform
The first meeting of the Industry Reference Group for Mining Proposal Reform was held on 25 November 2014. The role of this group is to work closely with DMP to develop the shape and content of the new Mining Proposal guidelines. 

A second meeting of the group was held on 18 February 2015. The main discussions were around the proposed risk assessment framework, key environmental factors to be considered in the Mining Proposal and associated baseline environmental data.

AMEC Environment Conference presentation
DMP gave a presentation on the Mining Proposal reform at the AMEC Conference on 24 February 2015. This presentation covered proposed key changes for Mining Proposals including:

The presentation will soon be available on DMP’s website .

Project timeline
At this stage, it is anticipated that the draft Mining Proposal guidelines will be released for stakeholder comment in April 2015.  The next industry reference group meeting is scheduled for 26 May 2015 and a further industry briefing on the proposed changes will be held in May.

Stakeholder engagement

Reform of Western Australia’s mining and environmental regulation was discussed at a DMP industry briefing session on Tuesday 7 October 2014. More than 150 people attended the event where they received updates and had the opportunity to provide feedback on DMP’s Reforming Environmental Regulation (RER) projects.

The briefing session coincided with the release of a discussion paper on Mining Proposal reform, one of the key priorities of RER.

The presentation slides from the industry briefing session are available on the DMP website along with the Mining Proposal reform discussion paper.

Presentations - Industry briefing session

Mining Proposal reform discussion paper


Operations Protocol with the Department of State Development (DSD)

On 3 February 2015, an Operations Protocol was jointly signed between the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) and the Department of State Development (DSD), which sets out the cooperative working arrangements in the environmental management of State Agreement projects.

This is a review of previous arrangements that have existed between the two agencies for some time. There is provision for technical advice and formal operational arrangements concerning advisory services for the ongoing management of State Agreement projects, particularly regarding project approvals, operation, compliance monitoring and reporting to meet government and community expectations.

Both agencies, in working cooperatively, aim to ensure that the environmental performance of the mining and petroleum industry in Western Australia reflect world’s best practice.

Regular meetings are being held between the two agencies to identify, discuss and address environmental management issues relating to the operation of State Agreement projects.

Golden Gecko Awards for 2015

The entry period for this year's Golden Gecko Awards for 201524th annual Golden Gecko Awards is now open.

In 2014, Franmarine Underwater Services Pty Ltd and the Department of Fisheries received a Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence for their In-Water Hull Cleaning System. Geo Oceans Pty Ltd was awarded a Certificate of Merit for their GO Visions Marine Habitat Mapping and Monitoring Technology.

The prestigious Golden Gecko Awards recognise innovation in environmental leadership and performance in the Western Australian resources and services sector.

The awards offer an opportunity for industry to be recognised for leading practice and innovation in environmental management, and also allow companies to share their experiences with government, industry and the community.

Participation in the Golden Gecko Awards process has been known to internally increase awareness and interest in environmental work across an organisation.

A ceremony will be held later in the year to present the awards.

Entries for this year's Golden Gecko Awards close on 10 April 2015.

For further information check out the Golden Gecko website

Environmental Officers get hands on training

Just Environmental Officers get hands on trainingbefore Christmas 2014, 15 of the department’s Environmental Officers took part in three days of mine site inspection training at Evolution Mining’s Edna May gold mine in Westonia.

The exercise aimed to provide a cross-section of Environment Division staff of varied experience with technical and practical training, and experience in conducting environmental and compliance inspections.

Training exercises like these ensure there’s a consistent approach taken across the inspectorate. The 350km bus trip and two nights spent camping out in tents and swags also provided a great opportunity for camaraderie and team building.

With both open-cut and underground operations, a gold processing plant, tailings storage facility, evaporative ponds and workshops, Edna May made for an excellent training facility. The mine is also uniquely situated on farmland immediately adjacent to the Westonia town site and has priority flora species within the mining operation that require specific management strategies.

Special thanks to Edna May General Manager Robert Hudson who was extremely supportive of the training exercise.  Robert made key personnel available to provide operational details of the mining operation and assisted in gaining uninhibited access to all areas of the site.

This training is part of DMP’s commitment to establishing a risk-based approach to regulatory services under the Reforming Environmental Regulation program.

It will help ensure inspectors are appropriately qualified and can competently and confidently undertake statutory compliance activities, including inspections.




An early grooming – Phil Boglio’s story

At the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Phil Boglio’s storywe are fortunate to be working in an environment where we can work directly with mining and mine site rehabilitation.

The Environment Division is made up of officers who are dedicated to ensuring responsible resource development.

So, how does an Environmental Officer come to be, and what was the ‘clincher’ that sends them on their path? We decide to find out and ask our own Phil Boglio.

Phil is a Senior Environmental Officer. He has been with DMP for 10 years and is known to many people in the industry. Phil’s work, though, goes back a lot further than this; he has been involved in mining and the environmental issues since he was a teenager, both paid and as a volunteer.

Here we not only learn a bit about our Phil, School children in New Caledonia undertaking mine rehabilitation work.we learn just how much environmental practices have changed over time in New Caledonia.  Of course we know that this story is not isolated to New Caledonia; it has been replicated not just in Australia but across the globe.

In Phil’s words, here is his story.

The year is about 1976 and the location, Plum in New Caledonia, an island located approximately 800kms east of North Queensland.

The schoolkids in this picture trudged up the slopes of one of the many open cut nickel mines that pepper the landscape in the southern part of New Caledonia.Phil Boglio, age 10 pictured far left.  Newspaper heading translated reads “At Plum they planted their tree”.

We were told to “excavate holes, plant and water those trees”.

Topsoil stripping and stockpiling was a foreign concept at the time and so was the use of local provenance pioneer species. That research did not start to happen in New Caledonia until the mid-1980s.

In hindsight, the tree species chosen were totally unsuitable. From memory we planted tropical ornamental species, the Flamboyant tree that is seen somewhat stunted in Perth gardens (Delonix regia) or some of the local native tree species exploited in forestry operations.

I am in this picture (far left). The young chap in his whites (I can only imagine my mum’s horror as red dirt does not come out in the wash) is eventually going to study environmental science in Australia. He will also help in between university breaks in New Caledonia with the field collection of more suitable local pioneer species seeds and associated glass house growth trials.

A lot further down the track I look at more mine site rehabilitation efforts and get covered in red dirt! I now avoid wearing white on mine sites and do my own washing.

Compliance actions

The Environment Division oversees an Environment Enforcement Panel that considers cases of alleged breaches of tenement conditions under the Mining Act 1978 and provides advice to the Minister for Mines and Petroleum on whether a penalty in lieu of forfeiture should be imposed. Information relating to these breaches, where fines in lieu of forfeiture have been imposed, can be found on DMP’s website. DMP considers it important to raise industry’s awareness of common types of breaches that occur with an aim of ensuring that ongoing compliance is maintained.

Penalties in lieu of forfeiture imposed by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum

This is a consolidated list of confirmed Mining Act 1978 breach of tenement conditions since June 2014 that have had a penalty imposed by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.  Please note that the scale of penalties under the Mining Act 1978 have increased from 3 February 2013.


Nature of Breach

Learnings for Industry

Detection By

Minister’s Decision Date

No. of Tenements

Individual or Company


Drilling without approval.

Ensure all approvals have been received before undertaking works.






(Total $60,000)

Construction without approval, mining and processing without approval.

Ensure all approvals have been received before undertaking works and operations.






Not undertaking rehabilitation in accordance with approval.

Rehabilitation to be undertaken within expected/prescribed timeframes.

Public Complaint






Alteration or expansion of operations without approval.

Ensure all approvals have been received before undertaking works and operations.







Alteration or expansion of operations without approval.
Administration breach.

Ensure all approvals have been received before undertaking works and operations. Any alterations to approved plans to be signed off by the Executive Director, Environment Division, DMP. Ensure all required reports are supplied in expected timeframes.







Alteration or expansion of operations without approval.

Ensure all approvals have been received before undertaking works and operations. Any alterations to approved plans to be signed off by the Executive Director, Environment Division, DMP.







Not undertaking rehabilitation in accordance with approval

Rehabilitation to be undertaken in expected/prescribed timeframes.






Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) update

The MRF, Bonds and Abandoned Mines Video

A video has been put together specifically for the MRFMining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) update describing the process of mining and its impacts, and shows some hard-hitting footage of sites that remain abandoned today. 

The video moves through to explain the strategy of the MRF and how the government, working together with the community and industry, developed the MRF.

You can view the video on the MRF website.

MRF Roadshow 2015

The MRF team is heading out on the road again in May to assist tenement holders lodge their MRF online reports. 

Tenement holders need to provide a disturbance report using the MRF Environmental Assessment and Regulatory System (EARS2) before June 30 2015. Penalties for non-compliance will apply if tenement holders fail to report by the 30 June 2015 deadline.

If you would like assistance lodging your report, make sure that you mark one of these dates in your calendar.  Assistance will also be available at DMP’s Perth office.

Disturbance data must be lodged annually, even if you fall below the threshold and have no levy to pay.






Department of Mines and Petroleum
Cnr Hunter & Broadwood Streets

Thursday 7 May 2015
Friday 8 May 2015
Saturday 9 May 2015

8.30 am to 4.30 pm
8.30 am to 4.30 pm
8.30 am to 3.30 pm


Department of Mines and Petroleum
62 Bayley Street

Thursday 7 May 2015

1.30 pm to 3.30 pm

Leonora / Leinster

Department of Mines and Petroleum
Cnr Tower (Goldfields Hwy) & Rochester Streets

Monday 11 May 2015

8.30 am to 3.30 pm


Shire of Sandstone
Hack Street

Tuesday 12 May 2015

8.30 am to 3.30 pm

Mt Magnet

Department of Mines and Petroleum
Cnr Richardson & Hepburn Streets

Wednesday 13 May 2015

8.30 am to 4.00 pm

MRF industry forum

DMP is also holding two forums for tenement managers and consultants involved in MRF reporting.

The sessions will provide an overview of the reporting system as a refresher from last year and provide information around all system improvements, changes and additional functions.

The forums will be held at DMP’s Perth Office. Invitations will be sent to all tenement managers and consultants and RSVPs are required.






Department of Mines and Petroleum
100 Plain Street, East Perth

Wednesday 29 April 2015
Tuesday 26 May 2015

10.00 am to 12.00 pm

MRF Website

The MRF website includes information such as frequently asked questions, a guidance document and step-by-step guide to assist tenement holders with reporting. This, and a lot more information including links to the legislation, are all available on the MRF homepage under the headings ‘Related Links’ and ‘Documents’ in the right hand window pane.

Approvals Performance Report

October - December 2014

Approvals Performance Report

Contact numbers for the Environment Division

Please keep these contact details handy for DMP’s Environment Division.

Minerals assessment or compliance enquiries

The map linked here provides you with the contact details of the DMP Environmental Officers responsible for your inspectorate/mineral field area.

Inspectorate map and responsible Environmental Officers

EARS / EARS 2 online system enquiries

General application and compliance reporting enquiries

Email :  
Phone :          (08) 9222 3535

MRF enquiries

Mining Rehabilitation Fund enquiries

Email :  
Phone :          (08) 9222 3162