Queensland to cut red tape for explorers

The Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland. Image: Resolute Mining (previous owner).

Queensland Parliament is set to pass a bill that will allow explorers to change their work program without seeking extra approvals.

The Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 will provide explorers with more flexibility to modify their activities without having to seek approvals, depending on their discovery on-ground.

Exploration permits will also be capped to three terms of five years, requiring permit holders to be active explorers rather than a land bank.

These reforms were a direct response to concerns raised by the resources sector and landholders, according to Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham.

“This is delivering on our election commitment to improve and streamline resources tenure,” Lynham said.

“We’re providing certainty to landholders and communities while driving industry to take action and make decisions to help potential projects move forward to deliver jobs and royalties for the people of Queensland.”

The changes will help make land available for future exploration for the resources essential to emerging technologies and the renewable sector, and will take effect next year.

Explorers which have approval to take 10 ground samples were previously required to apply for another approval to take only three ground samples even when they had found what they were looking for.

Under the changes, explorers will only be required to meet their existing Native Title and environmental conditions, agree with the landholder and advise the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) of their findings.

The legislation also progresses the state’s third, publicly-owned electricity generator, CleanCo to maintain clean energy assets to help increase electricity supply and drive down prices.

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