The resources sector has welcomed a state government plan to establish a new mining rehabilitation fund, saying the move will free up significant funds at the beginning of the project development stage.
Mines Minister Norman Moore announced today an overhaul of Western Australia’s environmental bonds system, with the establishment of the new fund.
Under the new scheme, operators will make annual contributions based on a percentage of total closure liabilities.
Mr Moore said the fund would provide a more flexible and cost effective system for industry, while meeting public expectations for higher standards of rehabilitation and mine closure.
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison said the legislation was the result of extensive consultation with industry and other stakeholders.
“This is a win:win for all stakeholders involved in the rehabilitation of mining and exploration activities,” Mr Bennison said.
Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia director Nicole Roocke also welcomed the legislative changes, saying the industry would benefit from the freeing up of capital at the beginning of project development.
“While there are still some administrative matters that require further discussion, particularly around calculation of liability and fund contribution, CME is happy with this announcement and will progress the finer details though dedicated working groups between industry and the Department of Mines and Petroleum.,” Ms Roocke said.
“Industry is committed to the highest level of environmental management and it is a requirement of any new project to have a comprehensive mine closure plan for when a resource is exhausted.
“Interest generated from the fund will provide a welcome revenue source for addressing legacy sites and industry is keen to work with government to identify a priority site list.”