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Critical amendments back on the table with Minister Koutsantonis 

Mineral explorers and miners can expect to finally see long awaited amendments to legislation that are a significant impediment to industry in South Australia. AMEC CEO Warren Pearce and SA Manager Peta Abbot, met with the Hon Tom Koutsantonis, Minister for Energy and Mining, on the 26th March to discuss key industry issues and recommendations in AMEC’s Budget Submission 2024-25. 

 

18-year compulsory tenement relinquishment and shift from Part 9B to Right to Negotiate 

The Minister has instructed the Department to prepare to make amendments to the 18-year compulsory relinquishment of exploration licences under the Mining Act 1972 

AMEC presented the Minister with critical information that fifteen of the State’s Major Mines and Developing Projects have exploration licences (EL’s) expiring from 2027 onwards and current legislation is impacting efforts to progress to mine development or expansion. While AMEC supports a use it or lose it approach, the amendments will ensure that, there is legal provision for the Minister to consider granting EL renewal in certain circumstances. 

The Minister has also agreed to progress consideration of amending the Mining Act to shift from Part 9B to Right to Negotiate. This shift is expected to support better agreement making, access to land and will support explorers to meet minimum expenditure requirements by reducing delays to undertake field-based activities. This amendment will bring the Mining Act in line with the HRE Act and the PGE Act administered by the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM). 

These amendments are expected to be advanced by DEM in parallel but will first require Cabinet approval. AMEC will keep you informed as they progress. 

 

Groundwater Matters 

AMEC has provided a submission to the EPA incorporating industry feedback on Guideline 3 – Establishing baseline groundwater quality. 

AMEC held member information sessions in March with the EPA and the Department for Energy and Mining. This provided an opportunity for members to share their concerns with the regulators, including the practicalities and transition to the new Guidelines for mineral exploration and mining projects. 

Thank you to members who contributed to these information sessions and to those of you who provided further feedback to AMEC regarding the Guidelines. Your views were critical to shaping this submission. The EPA has indicated that they are open to ongoing feedback as the Guidelines are practically applied to mineral exploration and mining projects. 

The EPA plans to release six new Guidelines for groundwater quality monitoring of regulated activities over the next few years. AMEC will keep you informed as these Guidelines roll-out for consultation, to ensure mineral explorers and miners views are included in their development.  

 

Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act – Draft regulations 

The Department for Energy and Mining is consulting on the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 2023 – Draft Regulations. The HRE Act passed the South Australian Parliament in November 2023 and will become operational once the associated regulations are established.  Consultation on the Draft regulations closed on April 15.

AMEC has provided a submission on behalf of members that calls for an updated Multiple Land Use Framework, and support for an expanded Landowner Information Service as pathways forward.

 

South Australia Biodiversity Act 

The Department for Environment and Water released a discussion paper to create a new Biodiversity Act. This proposes a new legislative framework that could be seen as the state’s key piece of environmental legislation. AMEC provided a submission to DEW in March, noting that there is extensive overlap with the Commonwealth Government’s Nature Positive reforms to be introduced to Parliament in 2024. AMEC also recently provided feedback on Australia’s Strategy for Nature.  

 

Cu at Copper to the World – June 18-19 Adelaide

AMEC has partnered with Austmine for the Copper to the World conference. Held in Adelaide from 18 – 19 June 2024, this two-day conference includes keynote presentations, engaging panel discussions and innovation sessions. There will be plenty of time for networking, and an exhibition featuring project opportunities and ground-breaking innovations offered by world-leading METS.

This is a great opportunity to make new connections and meet with AMEC SA Manager, Peta Abbot who will be attending the event. AMEC members enjoy a 10% discount on delegate passes by using CTW24COLLAB at checkout.