WA Government relaxes expenditure exemption rules for explorers

The McGowan Government has amended its mining regulations to further support tenement holders seeking an expenditure exemption.

Under the temporary amendments to the Mining Regulations 1981, the objection period for an expenditure exemption will be reduced from 35 days to 14 days, with tenement holders also being granted exemptions if COVID-19 has impacted their expenditure conditions.

According to Western Australia’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston, the amendments will further support the state’s mineral explorers.

“Mineral exploration is fundamental to the ongoing success of Western Australia’s resources sector and we continue to work with industry to improve outcomes,” he said.

“The McGowan Government recognises that tenement holders continue to be impacted by COVID-19 and the new regulations will help the resources sector by reducing the objection timeframe while still providing procedural fairness for objectors.

“A review of these arrangements, which are not intended to be permanent, is planned for early 2021 and industry will be consulted as part of the process.”

A set of guidelines have been introduced to ensure applications are up to standard.

This includes the requirement for applicants to include a statement in the form a statuary declaration if an exemption is a result of COVID-19 or other government restrictions that relate to the pandemic.

All exemption applications will be published on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) website.

The DMIRS has also halved assessment timeframes for program of work applications from 30 to 15 business days.

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