The State Government’s drive to improve Western Australia’s mining approvals processes has been reflected in an increasing number of online submissions of mining and exploration applications.
Figures from the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) show the number of companies using online applications for mineral exploration during the last 12 months has increased from 16 per cent to 54 per cent.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said online lodgement was a key component of the State Government’s approvals reform.
“More than 50 per cent of mineral exploration applications (Programs of Work - PoW) were submitted online this quarter, which shows industry is embracing this technology,” Mr Moore said.
“The response is a credit to the department’s continued work to expand the range of online services available for the mining and petroleum industry.”
Figures released late last year showed the assessment time for online applications was up to one week faster than paper applications.
The Minister said industry had also been provided regular feedback which would help to improve the service delivery and efficiency of the department’s online systems.
“The shift to online lodgement has corresponded with a record level of interest in WA’s resources industry, during that time the department has also received a record number of applications for exploration and mining proposals,” he said.
In the 2010-11 financial year, the department received 2,479 exploration PoWs and 356 mining proposals, an overall increase of 18 per cent compared to the 2009-10 financial year. The department also finalised 1,317 exploration licences in the past six months, compared to 1,063 during the same period last financial year.
Mr Moore said the number of exploration applications had steadily increased in the last 18 months, driven by high levels of interest in gold and uranium, and was showing no signs of slowing down.
Quarterly approval performance reports for key mining and petroleum approval processes are published on the department’s website. The second quarter approvals performance report is available from http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/7436.aspx
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