Despite the upward trend over the last few years in total exploration expenditure in WA primarily resulting from an increase in brownfield exploration, more still needs to be done to increase greenfield expenditure. The level of annual greenfield expenditure has still not exceeded that achieved a decade ago.
In the 2018 Fraser Institute Survey, Western Australia reversed a three-year downward trend and rose from 5th place on the Investment Attractiveness Index to second overall. This was primarily driven by a jump of twelve places up the Policy Perception Index from 17th in 2017 to 5th in 2018. This appears to be reflective of a more stable public policy setting, particularly in relation to increased certainty around royalty rates.
We need to maintain that certainty and ensure that unnecessary barriers to entry are removed, lowered or streamlined to fast track approvals and development.
AMEC has been working closely and constructively with relevant agencies with a view to making the land access and approvals process more cost efficient and to meet proponents needs. This will be further enhanced through our direct involvement in the Streamline WA initiative, which aims to encourage more investment in our State. A major objective of that initiative should be to ensure that Government works at the same pace as industry.
We note that additional resourcing has been provided to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and anticipate an improvement in service delivery and decision timeframes. The mining and mineral exploration industry is finally beginning to recover, this is demonstrated by successive quarters of growth in mineral exploration expenditure (primarily in Western Australia) and increased drilling activity and metres drilled.
The mining industry in Western Australia continues to drive WA’s economy, and its turnaround. Companies already in production are benefitting from a strong commodity market, are re-investing in new mine projects, expansions, or the reconfiguration of existing operations.
AMEC's WORK IN WA
AMEC works to lower the cost of doing business and make it easier to operate in the WA 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 our Committees and WA Members.
If you would like to be involved, please contact Graham Short
The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (WA-EPA) has commenced a 12 week consultation period by releasing a Background Paper on greenhouse gas assessment guidance AMEC is talking to member companies and developing a submission on behalf of industry. The WA Government is now talking to industry in anticipation of developing a State Government position on emissions reduction.
Extension of the Conservation Estate
The development of the Plan for our Parks initiative is being overseen by a multiagency Directors General Steering Group, which includes the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, and the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions. AMEC is working with the relevant agencies in order to provide input and assist AMEC members through the consultation process. Although all affected companies should have received formal advice from Government, if you think you may be affected by the Plan, further details and a map are available here.
Land access and approvals
AMEC is continuing to work closely with relevant approvals agencies to make the current processes more cost efficient. We welcome positive and negative case studies from AMEC member companies.
Review of the Building Construction Industry Training Fund (BCITF)
AMEC has participated in the review of the BCITF legislation. In doing so, we held a workshop for members to discuss areas where change is needed. AMEC is advocating to reduce cost of the levy and to see that the funds recieved from the resources industry are allocated to the training needs of our sector
Geraldton Alternative Settlement Agreement
The Government is currently negotiating a native title settlement in the Geraldton region with four native title claimant groups. Further details are available here.
AMEC has made a comprehensive submission to the initial process, primarily expressing concern of the possible unintended consequences for AMEC member companies.
Transfer duty guideline on mining tenements to be released
Following extensive advocacy by AMEC, the Office of State Revenue will soon be releasing Commissioner’s Practice DA 42.0
– Certain Transactions Involving Mining Tenements.
Our advocacy work was as a direct result of several members experiencing issues with their assessments, and the need for some guidance material.
Aboriginal Heritage reform process continues
AMEC has provided constructive input to the second phase of this consultation process. This followed a briefing session between the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage staff, the AMEC Aboriginal Affairs Committees and other affected members. We continue to have a long standing objective for increased clarity, certainty, efficiency and effectiveness of native title and cultural heritage processes, and believe there can be a win:win outcome for all stakeholders. However, in the absence of detailed information, there remains some uncertainty on how the proposed conceptual framework will work in practice and whether there will be any unintended consequences. We have therefore raised a number of points of clarification and questions about the proposed framework and processes. In the meantime, we consider that there are various business improvements that can be undertaken now.
Minerals in Brine Mining Lease Workshop
AMEC held a workshop with the team at the Department of Mining, Industry Regulation & Safety. This was for companies invested in the Western Australian potash industry to discuss the application process for the new concessionary rental rate for the ‘mineral in brine’ mining leases.
Once approved, minerals in brine mining leases will benefit from a reduced rental rate set at:
$2.32 per hectare for the first five years of the lease; and
$4.64 per hectare from year six onwards.
Membership in Western 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 the Territory, please contact the Deputy Chief Executive Graham Short.