WA seeks streamlined Mining Act

The Western Australian Government has proposed to amend the Mining Act 1978 to improve regulation and update approvals processes.  The Mining Amendment Bill has three goals, according to the Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).

According to DMIRS, these goals are “to streamline administrative processes, safeguard the security of titles and licences, and generate certainty for the resource sector.”  The goals will be achieved using three action points including the adoption of GDA2020 for more accurate geodetic datum, allowing lease conversion without marking the land in the case of a significant event, and marking some lands as “unavailable for exploration.”

GDA2020 (Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020) is the result of $225 million of investment by the Federal Government to provide 10-centimetre accurate positioning to anyone in Australia at any time.  Should the Mining Amendment Bill be passed, GDA2020 will be adopted in Western Australia and a smooth transition from the previous version will be enabled.

The second action point allows licence holders to be protected from the adverse effects on their conversion application due to natural disaster, civil disturbance, industrial dispute or other circumstance beyond their control.   Finally, it is proposed that the Mines Minister be given the ability to determine lands as “unavailable for exploration” when granting exploration licences.

Public feedback submissions close on March 11, 2022.

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