The introduction of environmental inspectors, and secure title to mineral deposits which cannot be mined in the short-term, are features of a Bill tabled in Parliament by the Government this week.
Mines Minister Gordon Hill said the Mining Amendment Bill (No. 2), included important changes sought by the mining industry, and provisions which would protect the environment.
· the establishment of environmental inspectors to ensure that environmental conditions attached to the grant of a mining tenement were complied with;
· new amalgamation provisions for exploration licences;
· a fixed four-year term for prospecting licences;
· the introduction of a new 'retention licence' to allow explorers to retain identified ore reserves which cannot be mined in the short-term;
· provision to allow prospectors to mark out and apply for special prospecting licences for gold over existing mining leases.
Mr Hill said the amendments would stimulate exploration activity in Western Australia while ensuring that the environment was protected.
Earlier this week, Mr Hill also tabled a Bill which would facilitate mineral exploration on 'broad acre' private land.
"The Opposition is continually bleating that the Government is hindering exploration and development in this State," Mr Hill said.
"These two Bills support the Government's attempts to kick-start the economy through an expansion of exploration activity in WA.
"If the Opposition is serious about development and growth in this State, it should stop filibustering in Parliament and support both Bills wholeheartedly," he said.