Friday 18th Sep, 2020

Queensland mine reforms take effect

New reforms that encourage new mines to be built, support old mines and toughen financial checks and balances on mining lease holders have taken effect in Queensland.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the reforms would strengthen Queensland’s mining sector and aid in the state’s post-COVID economic recovery.

“These reforms are about ensuring the right people and companies hold mining leases in Queensland so we see more jobs created,” Lynham said.

“They also act as insurance for Queensland taxpayers by reducing the risk of mines being disclaimed.

“People can now be disqualified from being granted or transferred a mining lease if they have been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or have a history of insolvency or bankruptcy.

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Large mineral mines, including gold, copper and zinc mines, will now need a development plan showing a set timeline for when and how they plan to develop a mine and grow jobs.

“In Queensland, the people who operate mines must be of good character, have a strong financial balance sheet and the proven intent to move forward with projects and create jobs,” he said.

Lynham said that over the past five years, several large mines have been disclaimed after the company went into liquidation.

“In the past we’ve seen mines cease production and be returned to the state — now more than ever we need to do everything in our power to keep those jobs and mines working,” he said.

“With these reforms, we’ll also be able to give old mines another shot at life by putting sites that are still commercially viable out to competitive tender.”

Under the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 the Queensland Government has introduced measures to strengthen safety laws in the resources sector, improve financial assurance and whole-of-government mine rehabilitation reforms and improve the administration and efficiency of the regulatory framework applying to resource projects.