The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has released over 880 mineral exploration reports from 1985 to 2001.
Industry representatives agreed to a review process to release mineral exploration reports in 2005 and the documents have been distributed annually since 2006.
This comes under regulation 96(4) of the Mining Act 1978, also known as the Sunset Clause, which deems mineral exploration reports that are held by the department for five years may be released to the public.
However, these “grandfather” reports were not made public in 2006 due to objections being lodged, according to Geological Survey and Resource Strategy executive director Jeff Haworth.
“In October 2019, the department’s Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) advertised these reports for release and we have now moved 884 of those documents to open file after receiving no new objections,” Haworth said.
“Some of these reports have remained confidential for more than 30 years but are now available to all external stakeholders through the department’s Western Australian Mineral WAMEX (Western Australian Mineral Exploration) database.”
Western Australian DMIRS staff are currently reviewing the objections regarding the grandfather reports according to the department’s policy guideline and process.
Following this review, more “grandfather” reports may be released in the near future.