The Government of Western Australia has committed to assisting the development of potash and other minerals in WA’s brine industry.
Potash is the common name given to a group of minerals containing potassium, which are typically used in agriculture to help plants grow.
Due to the unique nature of potash projects, the WA State Government plan to introduce a new rental rate for projects that are granted a new class of mining lease for restricted minerals.
The existing rental rate of $18.70 per hectare was found to be ill-fitting for industrial minerals in brine (a highly-concentrated solution of salt in water which occurs in areas such as salt lakes) because these operations require larger mining leases than other forms of mining.
Once approved, minerals in brine mining leases will benefit from a reduced rental rate set at:
- $2.32 per hectare for the first five years of the lease; and
- $4.64 per hectare from year six onwards.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said these changes will assist the development of a new industry in Western Australia and create employment and community development opportunities – particularly in remote Aboriginal communities.
“Potash is vital for agriculture because it is an essential nutrient in fertilisers that protects food crops from disease and pests, and improves water retention, yield, taste and appearance,” he explained.
“The new industrial minerals in brine mining tenure for potash projects will help stimulate this very important mineral sector and create jobs for Western Australians.”
“Potash projects generally have a mine life that spans 30 to 40 years, so this longevity is a win for local communities and sustaining jobs,” Minister Johnston stated.
Western Australia’s new potash rental rates are expected to come into effect in 2019.