Tenement Renewal Change

19 May 2020

Remember in 2017, the High Court invalidated numerous mining lease by overturning a decision of the WA Supreme Court in a dispute over the mining lease on the Minderoo Pastoral Lease? See – Void Mining Leases or the case for more detial Forrest & Forrest Pty Ltd v Wilson & Ors [2017] HCA 30 ?

The High Court invalidated the warden’s ruling and overturned the Supreme Court’s decision because the applicants had failed to comply with the lodgement requirements for the lease under the Mining Act 1978.

The High Court said the Mining Lease was granted incorrectly because the mineralisation reports was not been lodged at the same time  as the application, as specified in the Mining Act, but sometime later.

This arose because the tenement manager had been following the DMIRS policy of allowing the mineralisation reports to be lodged 14 days later.  This decision invalidated a few hundred mining leases in WA and there are many that are yet to be validated with new legislation, because of the complications that arise with Native Title.

DMIRS are being cautious and to prevent all renewals to Exploration Licences and Prospecting Licences being invalidated, the Mining Regulations were amended in December 2019 to allow further information to be supplied up to 14 days after an application for renewal was made.

I note that DMIRS have not yet up dated their policy documents to reflect the new regulations.

Following are the pre and post regulations to 16 December 2019.  Also, from 16 December 2019 the rents for renewals of all tenement are not required to be paid with the renewal application but within one month of the anniversary.

If you wish to say up to speed with the Mining Act attend LandTrack Systems’ training Courses:

  1. Practical Tenement Management –  gives a holistic overview of tenement management;
  2. Advanced Tenement Management – a more indepth view of tenement management; and
  3. Understanding Tenement Expenditure – in-depth session about tenement expenditure and how to calculate your administration and overhead expenditure.

If you wish to attend any of those courses listed, or require further information please contact me.

Pre 16 December 2019 Regulation

23A.       Extension of exploration licence (Act s. 61)

 (1)     An application under section 61 to extend the term of an exploration licence shall —

 (a)     be lodged during the final year of the term of the licence; and

 (b)     be in the form of Form 9; and

 (c)     be accompanied by —

 (i)     the instrument of licence (if issued); and

 (ii)     the prescribed rent for a period of 12 months commencing on the day after the day on which the licence is due to expire; and

 (iii)     information in support of the proposed ground for extension, a summary of work already carried out under the licence and a detailed programme of work proposed to be carried out under the licence.

 (2)     If the application is refused, a pro rata refund of rent will be paid to the applicant in respect of each whole month of the period for which rent has been paid commencing on the day on which the application is refused.

 New Regulations

23A.       Extension of exploration licence (Act s. 61)

 (1)     An application under section 61 to extend the term of an exploration licence shall —

 (a)     be lodged during the final year of the term of the licence; and

 (b)     be in the form of Form 9.

[(c)     deleted]

 (2)     Before the end of the period of 14 days from the day on which the application is lodged, the applicant must lodge —

 (a)     information in support of the proposed ground for extension; and

 (b)     a summary of work already carried out under the licence; and

 (c)     a detailed programme of work proposed to be carried out under the licence.

 (3)     If the licence is continued in force under the Act pending the determination of the application and the application is refused —

 (a)     if the prescribed rent has been paid under regulation 109(4) — a pro rata refund of rent is to be paid to the applicant in respect of each whole month of the remaining period for which rent has been paid commencing on the day on which the application is refused;

 (b)     if the prescribed rent has not been paid under regulation 109(4) — rent is to be paid by the applicant in respect of each whole month from the last anniversary date of the commencement of the term of the licence until and including the month during which the application is refused.