THE Association of Mining and Exploration Companies wants to review a long-held code of practice between explorers and pastoralists.
The code offers a framework on how the two parties deal with each other when it comes to land access.
Although AMEC chief executive officer Anne Arnold says the two parties generally have an excellent working relationship, land access issues can occasionally cause minor problems between the two.
Ms Arnold said no other interest group held this arrangement and while she said there were no indications that there was a major problem with the code, it was time to be updated.
“The code was developed 15 years ago . . . it’s probably time for another look,” she said.
Ms Arnold’s comments come shortly after a response to the Western Australian Government by the Pastoralists and Graziers Association about issues related to the renewal of pastoral tenure.
In October last year the Government requested stakeholders make submissions to formulate a package of reforms to guide the future development of the pastoral industry.
The document was prepared by a consultant to the PGA, former AMEC CEO George Savell.
AMEC has said it would broadly support the PGA’s submission, however, it is understood the Amalgamated Prospectors and Leaseholders Association of WA are concerned about land access proposals in the PGA’s submission.
Mr Savell told WA Business News pastoralists were seeking to shorten the length of an amateur’s miners right in an attempt to manage risk and liability on their properties.
Currently a miner’s right can be obtained for a small cost and is valid for life.
Broadly, it gives a miner access to pastoral land without having to seek formal or paid access.
Mr Savell said by shortening the validity of a miner’s right and making it slightly more expensive it would encourage amateur miners to appreciate their access to the land.
He said in the past dangerous situations had arisen through pastoralists being unaware of people on their pastoral lease.
AMEC, which represents professional mining companies, says the code of practice between pastoralists and explorers satisfactorily governs land access issues between the parties.
However APLAWA represents amateur miners such as metal detector operators and amateur prospectors.
An APLAWA spokesperson could not be contacted for comment.
“The code was developed 15 years ago . . . it’s probably time for another look.”
- Anne Arnold
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