NSW miners focus on community at conference

The NSW Minerals Council have highlighted mining's obligation to community and environment ahead of an exploration forum next week.

 The NSW Minerals Council have highlighted mining’s obligation to community and environment ahead of an exploration forum next week.

According to NSWMC, the industry wants to form effective relationships with landholders to ensure mining and agriculture survive.

The statement comes as the NSW Government releases its draft strategic land use policy.

According to the draft, mining and coal seam gas proposals within two kilometers of ‘strategic agricultural land’ will now need to go through a new ‘Gateway’ process, which will involve an external scientific panel which has the power to veto or pass it through to the development application state.

A draft policy for coal seam gas exploration was also released, which included provisions for companies to pay legal costs for farmers who take them to court to stop operations.

The 2012 NSW Minerals Council Exploration Forum will brief explorers on the implications of the new community engagement requirements, as well as the latest in environmental management.

"Our obligations to the environment and the community are core business, not an optional extra,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.

"The Government has an important role in helping to explain the role of exploration and in clarifying the rights and responsibilities of explorers and landholders. It will be good to hear firsthand how these new rules will work in practice and how they can complement the practices explorers already undertake and the strong relationships many have in their community."

Galilee went on to say that "we all have an interest in a good land use planning system that ensures the State’s mineral resources can be developed responsibly and with due consideration for our valuable food producing land and water resources. There are differences of opinion about the best way to achieve this, but ultimately it is up to the Government to make these decisions on behalf of the whole State".

The event will be held on 13 March.


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