New mining reforms that give old mines another shot at life, encourage new mines to be built and toughen financial checks and balances on mining leaseholders will take effect in Queensland today.
The reforms are the final provisions from the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 that was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 20 May 2020.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, the Hon. Dr Anthony Lynham, said the reforms will strengthen the state’s mining sector and aid in post-COVID economic recovery.
“These reforms are about ensuring the right people and companies hold mining leases in Queensland so we see more jobs created,” Dr Lynham said.
“They also act as insurance for Queensland taxpayers by reducing the risk of mines being disclaimed.”
From today, people can be disqualified from being granted or transferred a mining lease if they have been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or have a history of insolvency or bankruptcy.
Moreover, large mineral mines, including gold, copper and zinc mines, will need a development plan showing a set timeline for when and how they plan to develop a mine and grow jobs.
“In Queensland, the people who operate mines must be of good character, have a strong financial balance sheet and the proven intent to move forward with projects and create jobs,” Dr Lynham said.
Over the past five years, several large mines have been disclaimed after the company went into liquidation. With these reforms, old mines that are still commercially viable can also be given another shot at life by being put out to competitive tender.
For more information on the Act and related reforms, please visit: https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/mining-resources/initiatives/merola