WA reduces applications backlog

A new report shows that the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum has made progress in trimming down its build-up of mining approvals.

A new report from the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has shown that it has made progress in reducing its backlog of mining approvals.

According to the Approval Performance Report — Fourth Quarter 2009, approvals made a significant jump towards the end of 2009.

“The level of compliance for mining proposals has steadily increased from 60% in the first quarter to 88% by the fourth quarter,” DMP director general Richard Sellers said.

Performance data from the report shows what the DMP calls “important trends” in the number of applications received and processed, with the number of pending applications reduced from 10,480 to 8628 by the end of the year.

The DMP said that the number of mining proposals was greater due to an increase in mineral exploration as the resources industry continues to recover.

The Western Australian Government also introduced a number of reforms to the State’s approval processes, including a new lead agency framework, and a suite of legislative changes designed to streamline the approvals system.

The lead agency framework is said to formalise a number of initiatives which the DMP began progressing earlier in 2009.

The fourth quarter saw the DMP begin to implement application tracking for all mineral title applications received in 2009 via Mineral Titles Online; the provision of facilities designed to enable online lodgement of Programmes of Work and pipeline licence applications; and the appointment of a dedicated project coordinator for the State’s emerging uranium sector.

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