The Western Australian Government has amended the Mining Regulations 1981 to support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the revised regulations, tenement holders can now apply for expenditure exemptions if they can demonstrate that COVID-19 has affected their ability to meet their expenditure conditions.
The temporary amendments reduce the amount of time allowed for an objection to be lodged, from 35 days to 14 days, and all exemption applications will now be published online.
Guidelines have been developed to assist stakeholders through the new interim process and to ensure applications remain of a high-quality.
Providing clear guidance should also minimise the requests for additional information from the applicant.
Additionally, on 1 July, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) cut its assessment timeframes in half for exploration Programme of Work applications.
The new timeframe target for applications has been reduced from 30 to 15 business days.
Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister, Bill Johnston, said mineral exploration is fundamental to the ongoing success of Western Australia’s resources sector.
“Tenement holders continue to be impacted by COVID-19 and the new regulations will help the resources sector by reducing the objection timeframe while still providing procedural fairness for objectors,” he said.
“A review of these arrangements, which are not intended to be permanent, is planned for early 2021 and industry will be consulted as part of the process.”
For more information, please visit the Exemption for Expenditure on the DMIRS’ website.