Mining and Heavy Industries

WA to work with miners after Twiggy’s court win backfires

A High Court ruling brought about by a push from FMG founder Andrew Forrest has potentially opened up mining companies like FMG to issues over mining leases granted since 2006.

‘Twiggy’ Forrest recently won a bid to protect his Minderoo pastoral station by challenging the validity of mining lease applications lodged by Yarri Mining and Onslow Resources.

But the High Court appeal ruling, which found the applications didn’t correctly follow WA’s legislation because a mineralisation report was not filed at the same time, has inadvertently brought into question similar claims made in the state over the past decade.

The ruling has reportedly highlighted between 10% and 15% of mining leases granted since 2006.

WA mining minister Bill Johnston said on Tuesday he would strive to provide clarity to miners as a result of the development.

“The High Court decision has created uncertainty among the mining industry, especially regarding the security of tenure for major iron ore and gold projects,” Johnston said.

“I can assure the industry we’re taking this matter very seriously. The State Government is acting swiftly to ensure certainty and security for mining operations.”

Johnston assured that the mining lease processes highlighted in the High Court case had left no interested party disadvantaged.

He said the McGowan Government would explore legislative solutions to overcome the uncertainty created, including the legislation operating retrospectively “if it proves necessary”.

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