Back when South Australia was still only a colony it was known around the world, as the “Copper Kingdom”. In 1850, it was producing a third of the world’s copper. These discoveries of copper near Glen Osmond spurred the growth of South Australia, underpinned the flourishing city of Adelaide and funded many of the grand buildings that now give the city its distinctive character.
South Australia holds 68% of Australia’s economically demonstrated copper resources, 27.5% of Australia’s economically demonstrated gold resources, 80 % of Australia’s identified uranium resources and 14 billion tonnes of identified iron ore resources. It also boasts some of the largest recent discoveries such as the Carapenteena, and a discovery of an earlier generation, Olympic Dam.
Mining supports the South Australian economy, with a Gross Value of Production of $4.16 Billion in 2016-17.
In July 2018, South Australia had more than 670 exploration licences and more than 15 major mining projects in various stages of exploration, resource definition and feasibility or assessment. With careful stewardship the contribution of the mining and the mineral exploration sector could grow.
In February 2019, the Marshall State Government determined to raise South Australia’s economic growth rate from one percent to three percent. The way to do this is on the back of the mining truck and the drill rig.
With appropriate regulatory settings, and a focus on approvals, mining and mineral exploration can provide the needed jobs and growth to reach the 3% target.
AMEC’s work in South Australia
AMEC works to lower the cost of doing business and make it easier to operate in South Australia for mineral exploration companies and developing and operating miners. AMEC’s aim is to make sure that each decision maker knows the views of our industry constructively and persuasively.
This would not be possible without the generous and constant support of the South Australian Committee. If you would like to be involved, please contact Neil van Drunen.
Mixed South Australian Budget
For mining and mineral exploration, the 2019-20 South Australian State Budget included tenement rental increases, the new Accelerated Discovery Initiative and a commitment to draft a
Battery and Emerging Minerals Strategy.
Tenement Rental Increase
Across South Australia the standard exploration license fee will rise to $565 or $13.10 per square km, whichever is the greater. However, there will be further increases to $757 or $17.50 per square km for the Gawler Craton zone, and $953 or $22.10 per square km for the zone within a 200km radius of Olympic Dam. To check whether your exploration license is affected, check the map here. AMEC has discussed with the Minister and the Department, the negative impact such a tenement increase will have on investment in South Australia.
Accelerated Discovery Initiative
The Accelerated Discovery Initiative announced in the 2019- 20 SA Budget will deliver $10M over three years. The Initiative originally announced as the Accelerated Discovery Fund has been renamed. Funding will be available for:
⦁ Exploration drilling, including single deep holes and/or multiple- hole programmes in frontier terrains or testing new concepts in other areas.
⦁ Geophysical programmes that focus on the application of innovative technology and concepts.
⦁ Proof-of-concept proposals that were not restricted to a technical discipline to encourage innovation in the sector.
⦁ Logistical support associated with testing exploration targets in remote greenfields/new frontier regions.
⦁ Identification and testing to Environment Protection Authority- prescribed guidelines of new groundwater resources.
⦁ Collaborative technology and/or machine learning projects that will benefit exploration.
Battery and Emerging Mineral Strategy
The 2019-20 SA Budget included the announcement of a Battery and Emerging Minerals Strategy. AMEC has been calling for the Government to outline a clear plan for South Australia to benefit from the global surge in demand for battery minerals. AMEC has written to the Minister to follow up on the drafting of this document.
Statutes Amendment (Mineral Resources) Bill 2018
The Statutes Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced onto the Parliamentary Notice Paper this week. The Opposition recently offered to support the passage of the legislation, following four back bench Government members of Parliament. AMEC is supportive of the legislation, noting that the majority of the detail is held within the yet to be circulated regulations.
Stronger Partners, Stronger Futures Discussion papers moves forward
The Department for Energy and Mining has circulated three discussion papers on non-legislative amendments to Part 9B for comment, read them here. The discussion papers cover: policy reform for low impact exploration, cultural awareness and relationship building; Indigenous Land Use Agreements; and the management of survey data, amongst a range of issues. AMEC will be providing a submission and your views are needed. Due date for submission is 26 July 2019.
SA Election Policy Platform
Membership in South Australia
AMEC membership is open to all companies working in and for the mineral exploration and mining industry. Full membership is for mineral explorers, emerging producers and miners, with Associate membership open to companies who service the mining and mineral exploration industry. Whether your organisation provides legal services, undertakes drilling, financial advice, or other services that support our industry, you can be an AMEC associate member.
To learn more about our work and the benefits of membership in South Australia, please contact the Manager, Northern Territory and South Australia, Neil van Drunen.