Ballot dropped over Section 58 statements

26 Apr 2023

Despite what the Minister of DMIRS said, It might be time to check your backlogged exploration license applications.

Warden GM Cleary delivered a decision regarding a ballot for 6 exploration licence applications lodged over the same ground. Five of those applicants were dismissed from the ballot for failing to comply with the “initial requirements in relation to their application”.

The applicants failed to have a valid section 58 statements accompanying their applications. As a refresher, to meet these requirements, an applicant must:

  • address the proposed method of exploration of the whole of the area detailed in the application, for the whole of the 5 years of the anticipated grant
  • address the details of the program of work proposed to be carried out in the whole of the area detailed in the application
  • address the estimated amount of money proposed to be expended on the exploration over the course of the whole of the 5 years of the anticipated grant
  • address the technical and, subject to subsection (1aa), financial resources available to the applicant.

Altan Rio Minerals was dismissed from the ballot due to providing only a 1-year program and expenses.

Barto Gold Mining, Xantippe, and Quattro Gold also only included a 1-year program and expenses; however, they stated their subsequent plans in a very vague fashion, with no timeframe, commenting that after the first year “an exploration program will be aimed at base metal and gold deposits using known exploration techniques.”. This vagueness meant that they had not satisfied proposed works or expenses for the 5 years necessary.

West Australian Prospectors also took the veiled route of explanation, saying that they would undertake “all or any” general mining function over the time period and that they would meet or exceed the minimum expenditure. This, again, did not satisfy the requirements.

Kym Anthony McClaren must be thankful for their crystal ball, as they were able to set out a year-by-year summary for the first 3 years, and combined years 4 and 5, having built on what they possibly found. Though their expenditure was not itemised, they detailed notes on their budget based on these phantom finds.

If you would like more background on the True Fella case that set the precedent for this, read here.