Mines Minister George Cash today announced a $3.8 million boost for the mining industry in the form of refunds for survey deposits.
Mr Cash said $3.79 million was collected prior to 1991 when applicants for specified mining tenements were required to pay survey fees.
The fee was designed to cover the cost of surveying the tenement and was held in a trust until a survey was arranged. However, very few tenements were surveyed compared with the number of applications and the fees have yet to be drawn on.
Mr Cash said recent amendments to the Mining Act 1978 had made way for a new user pays system whereby tenement holders directly organise and pay for the survey of their mining tenements.
The arrangement has resulted in a more streamlined process and reduced government costs.
Mr Cash said further amendments in July this year had allowed lessees of pre-1991 tenements to request a survey fee refund.
"The new user pays survey system means that tenement holders will no longer have valuable capital tied up in the survey fee trust fund and will be able to carry out surveys only when necessary," he said.
"It is a more efficient process and the refund of the $3.79 million will enable companies and individuals to redirect the money back into the industry."
Tenement holders who have already paid the survey fee also have the option of requesting that the department retain the fee so that survey arrangements can be made in the future.
Requests for survey funds should be made in writing and addressed to the Mining Registration Division, Department of Minerals and Energy, 100 Plain Street, East Perth, 6004.
Media contact: Tony Robertson 222 9595 - Roy Burton, Director, Mining Registration 222 3118