The Queensland Government has put a number of reforms into place to strengthen the state’s mining sector, including a focus on extending the life of old mines.
An increase in financial checks and balances on mining lease holders and encouragement for new mines to be built are also among the reforms that have taken effect today.
These reforms are part of the final provision from the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020.
Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the reforms would assist with the state’s 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. They also act as insurance for Queensland taxpayers by reducing the risk of mines being disclaimed,” he said.
“People can now 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.
“Large mineral mines, including gold, copper and zinc mines, will now 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.”
Lynham said a number of large mines had ceased production after the company went into liquidation.
“In the past we’ve seen mines cease production and be returned to the state — now more than ever we need to do everything in our power to keep those jobs and mines working,” he said.
According to Lynham, the reforms would also ensure commercially viable old mines are put out to competitive tender.
“With these reforms, we’ll also be able to give old mines another shot at life by putting sites that are still commercially viable out to competitive tender,” he said.
The Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on May 20, which has aimed to strengthen safety laws in the resources sector, improve financial assurance and rehabilitation and boost the administration and efficiency of regulatory framework.