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New AMEC South Australia Manager – Peta Abbot 

Peta Abbot commenced as SA Manager on 12 February 2023 and will operate from a member company office in Adelaide (TBA). Peta has extensive experience working with explorers and miners in various roles across South Australian government including as a geologist, commodity and value-chain specialist, economic analyst and strategic project leader. Peta has post grad qualifications in education and mineral and energy economics and recently worked in principal roles for hydrogen industry development and renewable energy policy. Peta is looking forward to catalysing policies and supporting members to develop a successful and sustainable mining and exploration industry and provide broader benefits for stakeholders, particularly in her home state of South Australia. 

SA Mining Act and Regulations 

18-Year relinquishment of tenure and Part 9B  

Despite securing a commitment that consultation can commence on the reforms AMEC advocated for to South Australia’s Mining Act, including the 18-year relinquishment of tenure, and our ongoing recommendation shift for Part 9B to Right to Negotiate, we are awaiting a timeframe for this consultation. AMEC are meeting with Minister Koutsantonis on 21 March to further discuss.

Scoping workshop 

AMEC facilitated a workshop on 22 November with Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) to explain project management tools released late last year that have been developed to support the recently introduced Scoping process. AMEC will continue to work with DEM and members, to clarify matters related to Scoping which applies to the early stages of the approvals process for proposed mining operations. 

Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 

The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 2023 has been assented but is not yet in operation.

DEM released the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 2023 Regulations pre-consultation materials in late 2023.  

AMEC has provided a submission outlining the following advocacy points:  

  • Maintaining resourcing within DEM for BaU mining and exploration applications/approvals
  • Competitive land access – MLUF 
  • Economic loss and material diminishment related to mining  

Draft regulations will be released for public consultation in early 2024 and AMEC will lodge submissions as the opportunity arises. 

Ground Water Monitoring Guidelines 

The EPA has prepared a draft guideline for establishing baseline groundwater quality as part of a series of six Guidelines for groundwater quality monitoring of regulated activities.  

AMEC and interested members will meet with the EPA to better understand the issues related to changes in collecting groundwater baseline data and how that may impact mining and exploration activities. 

AMEC will subsequently provide a submission in March 2024 to the EPA on Guideline 3 – Establishing baseline groundwater quality. 

South Australia Biodiversity Act 

Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has released a discussion paper to create a new Biodiversity Act for South Australia. The paper indicates that current laws do not adequately address the challenges of biodiversity loss, particularly in a changing climate and that a new Act could be seen as the state’s key piece of environmental legislation. The new Act could require actions such as development projects to consider ways to avoid or minimise harm and could seek to prioritise avoidance and minimisation of impacts.

AMEC will work with members to capture feedback for a submission, due 1 March 2024.