In WA in the 2018 there are 385 prospecting licences expiring that cannot be renewed, though a mining lease could be applied over the area if a resource exists.
In light of all the prospecting licences that will be applied for, it is worth highlighting the pitfalls in making prospecting licence applications (based on the Wardens Court decisions of last year that contain most of the precedents of previous years).
In DMIR’s pamphlet for Marking Out and Applying for Mining Tenements the marking out requirements states:
“Standard marking out procedure is:
a. By fixing firmly in the ground or as close as practicable to each corner or angle of land concerned a post projecting at lease one metre above the ground;
b. By cutting to clearly identifiable trenches or placing two rows of stones at least on metre long from each post in the general direction of the boundary lines; and
c. then by fixing firmly to one of the posts as the datum post the notice of marking out in the Form 20….”
Additionally, stones may be used to support a post if it is prevented by the nature of the ground. If the land is covered by lake, river or sea a post or posts may not be needed. If the land is surveyed only the one post may be needed.
These sound incredibly simple instructions, but the marking out must be consistent with the Mining Act and Regulations, following are examples from last year where the Wardens decided in some cases that prospecting licence applications were invalid because of the discrepancy of the marking out with the Mining Act.
Van Dongen v KML No.2 Pty Ltd 2017 WAMW 17 outlines most of the precedents for marking out tenure. The Warden concluded the failure to include description of boundaries on Form 20 is a failure to comply with the marking out requirements of the Mining Act.
Crew v Lorentz 2017 WAMW 8 demonstrates why additional posts should be used and new trenches dug or it is an invalid prospecting licence application.
Sargentson v Brewer 2016 WAMW demonstrates why the pegs must be on vacant crown land and not in the adjacent tenure, which makes an invalid application.
Ryan v Brewer 2017 WAMW 9 demonstrates how to describe tenements within the area of your prospecting licence application on the Form 20 and 21.
Aruma Exploration v Stindberg 2017 WAMW 18 clarifies on what post a Form 20 can be placed.
So if you are marking out mining tenure and drafting documents for such, read and follow the legislation carefully.