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Minister sees benefits in passage of Mining Act amendments
1/12/2000 2:09 PM
Amendments to the Mining Act to increase prospectors’ access to land across Western Australia have been passed by State Parliament.
Mines Minister Norman Moore said today that he was pleased at the passage of the Mining Amendment Bill 2000, which should come into operation in a month or two, as soon as the necessary regulations are finalised.
“Giving small prospectors controlled access rights to exploration licences will increase the likelihood of new ore bodies being discovered,” Mr Moore said.
He said the legislation would benefit all levels of the mining industry as prospectors would get access to alluvial deposits, and reports of discoveries would be provided to companies holding the exploration licences.
“Prospectors are at the grassroots end of the mining industry and have been involved in the discovery of major mines throughout the history of the State and will continue to do so,” the Minister said.
Mr Moore said some of the provisos for access would be:
notification being given to exploration licence holders and any affected pastoralist prior to entry on to the land;
only hand-held tools to be used with access limited to the top two metres;
licence holders and the Department of Minerals and Energy being advised of any significant discovery;
areas within a licence, which are the subject of activities being undertaken by the licence holder, having a 100-metre radius buffer zone;
the system to be reviewed after it had been in operation for 12 months to ensure that any problems which may arise were properly addressed;
a limit to the number of permits which could be issued on a particular exploration licence; and -
a permit would be restricted to 10 blocks within one exploration licence (about 2,800ha).
Mr Moore said the changes were limited to exploration licences and would not provide right of access to mining leases or prospecting licences.
Access would be also limited to areas of Crown Land which will exclude access to reserved land and private land areas held under exploration licences.
The Minister said there were currently about 20 million hectares held under granted exploration licences and much of this area would soon be available for prospecting by Miner’s Right holders.
Media contact: Hartley Joynt, Minister for Mines’ office,
phone (08) 9321 1444