Director’s foreword

Phil Gorey (Executive Director, Environment) Welcome to the second edition of the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) Environment eNewsletter for 2016.

Of key importance in this edition is the release of new Mining Proposal Guidelines. DMP is allowing a transition period of six years for proponents to re-submit a Mining Proposal in accordance with these guidelines.

Equally important are new guidelines for use by the onshore petroleum and geothermal industry, that include guidelines for groundwater monitoring, and the development of an oil spill contingency plan.

Changes have also been made to the petroleum ‘Environment Plan Summary’ submission process to improve government transparency. Operators are now required to submit a public disclosure document at the time of their Environment Plan submission.

The Legislative Council Standing Committee on Legislation completed its inquiry into the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 by tabling the report in State Parliament on 10 May 2016. The report of the Standing Committee is under consideration by the Government.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) team is already busy checking reports with the MRF reporting period closing 30 June 2016. Please remember there are infringements if you are late, but we are here to help, so please refer to the ‘MRF Update’ for support contact details and information that will assist you with your submission.

Dr Phil Gorey
Executive Director Environment

Changes to Environment Plan Summary Submission Process

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is committed to improving transparency arrangements, particularly petroleum and geothermal environmental regulation functions relating to public disclosure of environmental data and information received.

DMP recently undertook a review of the effectiveness of the Environment Plan summary which is submitted by the operator after the approval of an Environment Plan. This review indicated that an Environment Plan summary may not be made publicly available on the DMP website for up to four weeks after an Environment Plan has been approved.

This delay is inconsistent with the intention that the public will have access to information regarding approved petroleum and geothermal activities in a timely manner. DMP is therefore trialling a new process whereby operators will be provided with submission options to satisfy public disclosure requirements of regulation 11(7) and 11(8) of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources (Environment) Regulations 2012, the Petroleum Pipelines (Environment) Regulations 2012, and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Environment) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations).

As of 28 April 2016, operators are now required to submit a public disclosure document to DMP at the time of Environment Plan submission (via EARS Online). This document will then be made publicly available on the DMP website to enable the public to access information regarding petroleum and geothermal activities prior to activity approval. The public disclosure document submission options for operators are described below. 

Please note that the submission of an Environment Plan summary post Environment Plan approval (within 10 days) is no longer required as the submission of the public disclosure document (at the time of Environment Plan submission) is deemed to satisfy the requirements of regulation 11(7) of the Regulations.

Public Disclosure Document Options

Option 1 - No additional documents are required to be attached for public disclosure, thereby reducing time and costs associated with the preparation of these documents.

Option 2 - Additional documents are required to be attached for public disclosure.

Operators should note that all documents submitted to DMP are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (the FOI Act). None of the legislation administered by DMP overrides the FOI Act. However, it does not apply to documents that are already publically available. The FOI Act provides for “public access to documents, and to enable the public to ensure that personal information in documents is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading, and for related purposes”. For further information regarding the FOI Act (including matters that are exempt from being released) please refer to the State Law Publisher website.

Help with your Environment Plan submissions

DMP is committed to providing ongoing support to operators when lodging their environmental proposals.

For technical problems or questions please contact the DMP IT Service Desk:

Phone: (08) 9222 0777

For all other questions or comments please contact the Environment Division:


Programme of Work Spatial Lodgement

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is developing a spatial lodgement system for the submission of exploration applications (Programmes of Work) made in accordance with the Mining Act 1978.

The new spatial lodgement system will be accessed through the current ‘EARS Online’ system. The aim is to transform the current application process, using the spatially lodged data and filtering the information requested during lodgement based on the activity type and location.

The purpose of developing and implementing the online spatial lodgement module for exploration is to improve the efficiency of the assessment process. The system will allow proponents to log in and access draft and approved applications at any time, in the same way as you would in the current ‘EARS Online’ system.

Users will also have the ability to roll information forward from an application into a new application. The spatial lodgement function will allow the proponent to input proposed activities and receive immediate feedback on intersections with features of interest or sensitive areas.

The exploration spatial lodgement module will be the starting point for smart lodgement for all environmental applications, such as mining proposals and mine closure plans.

This is the most significant information technology initiative for the Environment Division over the next two years. If you are interested in being involved and undertaking “User Acceptance Testing” during September/October of this year, please register your interest by contacting us.

Phone:  (08) 9222 3820

Further information regarding training sessions in Perth and Kalgoorlie and the proposed roll out of the system, will be provided in the next Environment eNewsletter.

New Environment Division Liaison Committee

The inaugural meeting of Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Environment Division’s new stakeholder committee was held in March 2016.

The Environment Division Liaison Committee (EDLC) will meet quarterly, providing a forum to raise and discuss issues related to environmental regulation of the mining and petroleum sectors. 

These organisations are represented on the Committee:

As well as the usual administrative matters to discuss when a new group convenes, at the first meeting members were briefed on the department’s work at the Ellendale Diamond Mine and members explored the future role of the Committee and how industry matters would be considered.

The Ellendale site, despite not being one of the four identified Pilot Sites under the Abandoned Mines Program, is the first site to be managed under the program. Ellendale was targeted because it was recently abandoned and the site needed to be made safe, stable and non-polluting.

The work of the former stakeholder panel, the Reforming Environmental Regulation Advisory Panel (RERAP), has now come to a close. The final meeting of the Panel occurred on 18 September 2015 and at this meeting DMP presented its status report which described that the Ministerial Advisory Panel recommendations had been substantially completed, and importantly, the Panel agreed that the Reforming Environmental Regulation initiative had also been completed. DMP would like to thank those members for the three years of their time and input into the reform program.

Mining proposals approved by regional district

1 January to 31 March 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is committed to upholding the State's Whole of Government Open Data Policy 'to improve management and use of the public sector's data assets in order to deliver value and benefits for all Western Australians.' This includes greater release of appropriate and high-value data to the public in ways that are easily discoverable and usable.

The department's Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) maintains a comprehensive database of mines, mineral deposits and prospects along with their operating status, location, mineral resource estimates, mineral production, and project ownership. View individual mining proposals and find more information on the 'Mines and Mineral Deposits Database' (MINEDEX) on the DMP website.

The following list of mining proposals were approved by DMP between 1 January and 31 March 2016.

Regional District




Austwide Mining Title Management Pty Ltd

L 08/108, M 08/497

Yarri Mining Pty Ltd

G 08/80, L 08/114, M 08/488, M 08/496

Broad Arrow

Chaffers Mining Pty Ltd

M 24/193, M 24/295

GPM Resources Pty Ltd

M 24/135, M 24/469, M 24/951

Norton Gold Fields Ltd

M 24/155, M 24/166, M 24/302, M 24/304

Norton Gold Fields Ltd

M 24/234, M 24/265, M 24/266, M 24/302, M 24/82

Paddington Gold Pty Ltd

M 24/183


HBJ Minerals Pty Ltd

M 25/333, M 25/357

Silver Lake Resources Ltd

M 25/350

Bulong; East Coolgardie

Silver Lake Resources Ltd

L 25/24, L 25/29, L 25/41, L 25/47, L 26/246, M 25/125, M 25/133, M 25/236, M 26/250, M 26/251, M 26/271, M 26/280, M 26/325, M 26/38, M 26/636

Silver Lake Resources Ltd

L 25/16, L 25/37, L 25/49, M 25/350, M 26/248, M 26/364, M 26/417

HBJ Minerals Pty Ltd

L 25/48, M 25/333, M 26/41, M 26/534


Brian Lennox

M 15/1817

Landtec Pty Ltd

L 15/342, M 15/1815

Michael Edward Charlton

M 15/1813

Process Minerals International Pty Ltd

M 15/717


Big Bell Gold Operations Pty Ltd

M 20/45, M 20/68


Central Norseman Gold Corporation Ltd

M 63/133-I

East Coolgardie

Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd

G 26/44, G 26/45, G 26/46, G 26/47, G 26/48, G 26/49, G 26/50, G 26/51, G 26/52, G 26/53, G 26/54, G 26/55, G 26/56, G 26/57, G 26/58, G 26/59, G 26/60, G 26/61, G 26/62, G 26/63, G 26/64, G 26/65, G 26/66, G 26/67, G 26/68, G 26/70, G 26/71, G 26/73, G 26/74, G 26/75, G 26/76, G 26/77, G 26/78, G 26/82, G 26/83, G 26/84, G 26/85, G 26/86, M 26/308, M 26/451

MacPhersons Resources Ltd

M 26/490


FMR Investments Pty Ltd

M 27/154, M 27/311, M 27/411, M 27/412, M 27/413

Lyndon Scott Mahoney

M 27/489-G


JSW Holdings Pty Ltd

M 80/628


Saracen Gold Mines Pty Ltd

M 28/166, M 28/167

Sirius Resources NL

M 28/376


Saracen Metals Pty Ltd

M 36/542

Marble Bar

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

M 45/1226-I

M.R. Millwood Pty Ltd

M 45/1255


Big Bell Gold Operations Pty Ltd

M 51/190, M 51/211, M 51/257

Doray Minerals Ltd

M 51/870

Mt Malcolm

Saracen Metals Pty Ltd

M 37/219, M 37/46, M 37/564, M 37/902, M 37/955, M 37/986

St Barbara Ltd

G 37/25, G 37/26, M 37/17, M 37/25

Mt Margaret

Mt Weld Mining Pty Ltd

M 38/58

Mt Morgans

GME Resources Ltd

L 39/222, L 39/235, M 39/1077, M 39/1078, M 39/600

Saracen Gold Mines Pty Ltd

M 39/411


BC Iron Ltd

M 46/523-I

Peak Hill

Aragon Resources Pty Ltd

M 52/132, M 52/133, M 52/95, M 52/96, M 52/99

Redstone Minerals Pty Ltd

L 52/157

Phillips River

EnviroWorks Consulting

M 74/49, M 74/61

South West

Australian Garnet Pty Ltd

L 70/178

GMA Garnet Pty Ltd

M 70/1331

Gregory John McLean and Kim Jacqualine McLean

M 70/1342

Phil Jones Consulting Geologist

M 70/1141, M 70/1169

Rocla Quarry Products

M 70/1283, M 70/1284

Strother Mining Pty Ltd

L 70/162, M 70/1318

West Pilbara

BC Iron Ltd

M 47/1439-I

BC Iron Ltd

M 47/1439-I

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

M 47/1409-I, M 47/1411-I, M 47/1413-I, M 47/1431-I, M 47/1453-I, M 47/1475-I

Rio Tinto Ltd

L 47/47


Golden West Resources Ltd

L 53/146, L 53/148, M 53/1016-I, M 53/1017-I, M 53/1018-I, M 53/1078-I, M 53/1087-I


Capeview Pty Ltd

M 59/756

MMG Golden Grove Pty Ltd

M 59/3, M 59/90

MMG Golden Grove Pty Ltd

M 59/195


Hawthorn Resources Ltd

G 31/4, L 31/32, L 31/65, L 31/66, M 31/113, M 31/284, M 31/78, M 31/79


Evolution Mining Ltd

G 77/122, M 77/124

Hanking Gold Mining Pty Ltd

G 77/126, M 77/159, M 77/424, M 77/721

Western Areas Ltd

M 77/335, M 77/399

Mining Proposal reform update

Release of new Mining Proposal Guidelines

Guidelines for Mining Proposals in Western Australia The new Guideline for Mining Proposals in Western Australia has now been published on the Department for Mines and Petroleum (DMP) website.  The guideline establishes a risk and outcome-based regulatory framework for environmental assessment and management of mining activities throughout the State. 

The new guideline will ensure DMP’s regulatory effort is targeted and proportionate in order to protect environmental values in an effective, efficient and timely manner, and to support community and stakeholder expectations for responsible development.

The document details DMP’s move towards an activity-based approval system which is expected to bring a number of benefits, including that each mine site will now only need to have one approved Mining Proposal. The new guideline will prevent unnecessary minor amendments having to be formally assessed by DMP officers, will allow greater approval flexibility, and promote innovation and best practice (refer to Appendix D of the Guideline).

DMP’s Environment Division thanks those organisations and individuals who took the time to provide feedback on the draft guidelines and attend the DMP stakeholder briefing sessions in November 2015.  A copy of DMPs response to stakeholder submissions can be accessed on the DMP website. 

The Mining Proposal Reform Industry Reference Group, which comprises industry peak bodies, and industry and environmental consultancy representatives, has also been an essential partner in drafting the new Mining Proposal guidelines. DMP thanks these members for their valuable contribution to the reform. Extensive consultation was also undertaken with other government departments to ensure the new Guideline is aligned to their processes where possible.

Transition arrangements

One of the most crucial aspects of this new Guideline is how its processes will be applied to new and existing mining projects. DMP has released a specific Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the transition arrangements that is available on our website. The key aspects of the transition are:

Existing approved Mining Proposals

For mining operations with existing approved Mining Proposals, DMP will allow a transition period of six years for proponents to re-submit a Mining Proposal in accordance with these guidelines. The resubmission will cover all existing and proposed operations.

During the six-year transition period, any existing projects that require a Mining Proposal to be submitted due to an expansion or alteration will have the option to use the new guidelines or the 2006 guidelines. In circumstances where major changes are proposed, proponents are strongly encouraged to submit a Mining Proposal for the whole Environmental Group Site in accordance with the 2016 guidelines. 

New Mining Proposals

For new projects without an approved Mining Proposal, DMP will allow a transition period of the remainder of 2016 to use the new guidelines or the 2006 guidelines. From 1 January 2017, all new projects will be required to use the 2016 guidelines. 

More Information

For more information on transition arrangements and other frequently asked questions, please refer to the FAQ documents available on the DMP website.

For further information or any enquiries, please contact Daniel Endacott.

Phone:  (08) 9222 3204
Email: .

Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) update

MRF-logo There is less than one month to go before the end of the MRF 2015 - 2016 reporting period. The MRF team has been busy encouraging tenement holders to complete their MRF reports early and there has been a great response so far. 

The MRF reporting period closes at 11:59 pm on 30 June, 2016. If you have not yet lodged your report, please avoid leaving it until the last moment. The MRF team hopes to avoid sending any fines this year and will help tenement holders complete their reports on time. If you do not have access to a computer, public-access computer facilities are available in the Library at Mineral House on Level 1 and at each of the regional offices, where staff can assist you in completing your MRF report. It is also possible to lodge your report online using a smart-phone or tablet.

The MRF team is available to assist you if you have any questions, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Phone:  (08) 9222 3162

Please contact our IT Service Desk for any technical queries.

            Phone:  (08) 9222 0777

For more information about MRF reporting and how to lodge your report please refer to the following documents located under ‘MRF documents’ on the MRF webpage:

New panel members appointed to the Mining Rehabilitation Advisory Panel

The Mining Rehabilitation Advisory Panel (MRAP) is a five-person statutory panel established under the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012.

MRAP meets quarterly to discuss and provide independent expert advice to the Director General at the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) on a range of matters related to implementing and managing the MRF and the Abandoned Mines Program.

Panel members provide advice on identifying abandoned mines, prioritising sites for rehabilitation, proposed expenditure, and guidance on the MRF’s administration. MRAP provides valuable independent support to the department. The appointed members of MRAP play a vital role in helping to increase improved environmental and safety outcomes throughout Western Australia (WA).

The expression of interest calling for new members to join MRAP, published by DMP in December 2015, was received with great interest. The calibre of applicants was extremely high, with all applicants representing diverse backgrounds at State and national levels.

MRAP members are required to have experience in the management of mining operations, land rehabilitation practices, environment, financial or legal matters, or natural resource planning and management.

The newly appointed members of MRAP are:

DMP would like to thank the outgoing MRAP members: Julie Hill, Charmian Barton and John Gardner for their contributions while on the Panel. These members provided leadership on governance arrangements for the inaugural panel and were successful in reviewing and endorsing the timeframe for the commencement of work on the four Abandoned Mines Program pilot sites. Significantly, the Abandoned Mines Policy which is available on the Abandoned Mines Program webpage, was developed during their tenure.

Nationwide interest in the MRF and Abandoned Mines Program

Over the course of 2016, DMP’s Manager Environmental Reform, Sarah Bellamy, will be travelling to regional WA and interstate to deliver presentations on the MRF and Abandoned Mines Program.

The Goldfields Environmental Management Group recently conducted its biennial Environmental Management Workshop from 18–20 May 2016 in Kalgoorlie, where Sarah presented an update on the MRF funded Abandoned Mines Program.

While in the region, Sarah also visited the Bulong Tailings Storage Facility, one of the Abandoned Mines Program pilot sites, and met with Bulong’s stakeholders to address enquiries regarding the Abandoned Mines Program.

Sarah has been invited as a keynote speaker, to make a presentation on the MRF at the Life-of-Mine conference hosted by AusIMM in Brisbane from 28–30 September 2016. This interest demonstrates that other jurisdictions are eager to learn about the development and implementation of the MRF, as well as the experiences gained along the way.

MRF webpage

Please make regular visits to the MRF webpage on the DMP website. You will find information such as frequently asked questions, a guidance document and a step-by-step guide for registering your verification codes. There is also convenient links to the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 and the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Regulations 2013.

Abandoned Mines Program update

As a part of the Abandoned Mines Program, rehabilitation efforts and remedial actions are continuing at the Ellendale Diamond Mine and the pilot sites at Black Diamond Pit Lake and the Pro-Force Plant Site.

Ellendale Diamond Mine

The Abandoned Mines Program update Abandoned Mines Team has been working closely with relevant stakeholders to increase security at Ellendale through restricting access and installing signage around the site.
In addition to improving the security of the site, the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has undertaken a range of activities within the Ellendale area to appropriately manage all significant safety and environmental risks while the site is in care and maintenance. These activities have included:

Using standard government procurement processes, local contractors were engaged to undertake this work to ensure the site is safe, stable and non-polluting during the care and maintenance period. Approximately $80,000 has been spent to undertake these activities.

A monitoring plan is under development and will be used until a new tenement holder takes over the operation.  More information regarding the Ellendale site can be found in the ‘Ellendale Information Sheet 2‘ located on the Abandoned Mines Projects webpage.

Abandoned Mines Program update

Black Diamond Pit Lake

Following the release of DMP’s publication ‘Improving Community Safety at the Black Diamond Pit Lake’, the first Working Group meeting for the proposed works at Black Diamond Pit Lake was held at the Allanson Primary School library on 7 April, 2016.  The meeting was attended by key project stakeholders, including representatives from the Shire of Collie, Department of Lands, Collie Visitor Centre, Black Diamond Action Group, adjoining landowners and DMP.

Abandoned Mines Program update DMP is proposing to use a portion of the interest earned through the Mining Rehabilitation Fund to undertake works, including battering down the steep and unsafe southern pit wall, as well as subsequent revegetation works.

While DMP is only able to use funds to make the site safe, stable and non-polluting, a number of possible end land use options for the site which the community may wish to implement were discussed. The Working Group members agreed that battering down the pit wall and revegetating the area is a good way to ensure that immediate safety and environmental concerns are addressed at the site.

A Community Forum was also held on 10 May, 2016 at the Allanson Primary School to consult more broadly with the community regarding the proposed works and the potential end land uses. The outcomes from the forum can be found in the information sheet ‘Black Diamond Update 2’ located on the Abandoned Mines Projects webpage.

Pro-Force Plant Site

Following the site assessment of the Pro-Force Plant Site in early 2016, a number of safety and environmental risks were identified that will be addressed as part of the Abandoned Mines Program.

The Abandoned Mines Team has created a publication describing the Pro-Force rehabilitation project called ‘Improving Community Safety at the Pro-Force Plant Site’.  This publication is available on the Abandoned Mines Projects webpage with hard copies available at DMP’s Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie regional offices and at the Shire of Coolgardie office.
The focus of the project is to address the safety risks associated with:

Other works to make the site safe and stable may be undertaken, these will be based on the outcomes of stakeholder consultation.

Public consultation

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is committed to stakeholder engagement. Effective and ongoing stakeholder engagement enables better planned and more informed policies, projects and services, including a greater understanding and management of issues and potential risks. For stakeholders, the benefits of engagement include the opportunity to have their issues heard and contribute to the decision-making process. 

When documents are open for public consultation they are located on DMPs Consultation webpage.

Environment Division drafts recently closed for public consultation

Public consultation has recently closed for these items.  These items along with older items can be found on the Consultation webpage and will remain accessible for a period of 12 months.


Date Closed

Draft Guidance – Materials Characterisation Baseline Data Requirements for Mining Proposals

29 April 2016

Draft Guideline for the Development of Petroleum and Geothermal Environment Plans in Western Australia

15 April 2016

Draft guideline for the development of an onshore oil spill contingency plan

4 March 2016

Draft guideline groundwater monitoring in the onshore petroleum and geothermal industry

4 March 2016

Procedure for Declining and Refusing Environmental Applications - draft for public consultation

31 January 2016


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 forfeiture, or a penalty in lieu of forfeiture, should be imposed.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum believes it is important to raise industry’s awareness of common types of breaches that occur, with the aim of promoting the significance  of compliance.

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

This is a list of confirmed Mining Act 1978 breach-of-tenement conditions between 1 January and 31 March, 2016 that have had a penalty imposed by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum. 


Nature of Breach

Learning’s for Industry

Detection By

Minister’s Decision Date

No. of Tenements

Individual or Company


Works undertaken without approval; topsoil stockpiles used to bund the perimeter of pit areas contrary to approvals; required management measures not being in place; and bore field development without approval.

Ensure all approvals have been received before undertaking works; have an understanding and awareness of all commitments.





Approvals Performance Report

January - March 2016


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

Petroleum environment operations
General inquires; Notification of commencement or completion of a petroleum activity and Notification of reportable incident environmental incident.

Email :  

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