15/07/2008 - 14:37

AMEC urges quicker mining approvals

15/07/2008 - 14:37

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The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies has congratulated the state government in reducing the backlog of mining tenement applications by 20 per cent but has urged the resources minister to do all he can to trim it down further.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies has congratulated the state government in reducing the backlog of mining tenement applications by 20 per cent but has urged the resources minister to do all he can to trim it down further.

The state government today said it remained on track to reduce the backlog of mining tenement applications to 5000 by 2010, after processing the highest number of applications in more than a decade.

Resources minister Fran Logan said over 4500 applications were granted over the 2008 financial year, the highest number since fiscal 1994.

"We have managed to reduce the backlog despite receiving 4,140 tenement applications during the year - about 1,000 more than we predicted," he said.

A spokesperson for the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies told WA Business news that while the reduction in applications was encouraging, more still needed to be done.

"We note that there's still 14,700 in the system and while congratulating the minister, we encourage him to do all he can to decrease the backlog even more," the AMEC spokesperson said.

The backlog of applications peaked early last year at 18,700 which prompted the government to allocate $3.5 million in funding to help reduce the load.

Mr Logan said there were now a record 21,000 mining tenements currently in force in WA, covering a record 58.7 million hectares. Exploration licences accounted for most of this land with 51.7 million hectares.

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