South Australia halts fees for mineral exploration licences

The South Australian Government has cut all exploration and licence fees in the minerals sector to soften the blow of the industry’s coronavirus containment procedures.

The fee relief will extend the due date for licenses until the 31 December 2020.

With the introduction of  state border restrictions across Australia, the minerals industry has seen significant blows to its operations.

According to Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan, the coronavirus has caused a significant impact on mineral exploration.

“To meet this challenge head-on the South Australian Government will defer a suite of industry licence fees,” he said.

“The Marshall Liberal Government has implemented an immediate deferral of mineral exploration licence fees and annual petroleum and geothermal licence fees due in the next six months.

“While the South Australian Government continues to implement rigorous measures across the mining and resources sector to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading among the workforce, it is also important to provide financial assistance to those companies doing it tough during this time.

“The junior exploration sector is suffering disproportionately from the disruptive effects of the pandemic response, with many smaller companies already operating for some time in difficult financial markets finding it tough going in the current health emergency.”

The license fee halt also extends to the petroleum sector.

Minister van Holst Pellekaan also announced a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure for any mineral exploration license holders.

“There is a 12-month waiver of committed expenditure for all mineral exploration licence holders as well as an expansion of allowable expenditures towards minimum Petroleum Retention Licence requirements during a period of low oil prices,” he said.

“These economic measures will provide the mining and petroleum sectors in South Australia with some financial relief and help support the state’s economy to respond to the difficulties posed by the coronavirus containment measures.”

South Australia’s  Department of Energy and Mining has continued to advise all  mining, quarrying, oil, gas and energy sector related companies need to submit a COVID-19 management plan, regardless of their fly-in, fly-out workforce.

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