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VICTORIA

Resource Victoria sets out new compliance priorities 

As part of its Towards 2030 Strategy, Resources Victoria has released its Compliance Priorities for 2024-2025, which sets out the key areas of focus for the regulator, including tailings storage, over extraction, rehabilitation, and community impacts.

Legislative Reform Roadmap

Resources Victoria held a third information session in late April for stakeholders interested in the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Amendment Act 2023.  The session provided a high-level overview of the process involved to develop the new framework, supporting guidelines and regulations. AMEC is embedded within the stakeholder reference group along with working group meetings as part of the consultation on its initial design.

Victorian State Budget

AMEC welcomed the Victorian government’s decision to not penalise the State’s mineral industry stakeholders in its 2024-25 State budget, with no planned changes to the existing royalties regime, and no increases in fees and charges on the states miners and explorers. Government has allocated $48.1M through 2027-28 supporting the local resources sector to “achieve Net Zero and the Big Build”.  The bulk of funding will go to “support Resources Victoria to deliver improved efficiency and reliability of licensing approval functions, regulate potential harms in earth resource operations, and support industry investment into critical minerals and extractive materials with reform and targeted programs.”

The Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action (DEECA) has introduced three new performance measures around licensing, work plans and rehabilitation bond processing with target processing benchmarks of 95% forecast for 2024-25. These new measures are designed to provide increased transparency and better reflect the separate areas of legislative responsibility. DEECA has also set a new objective for the “sustainable development of Victoria’s earth resources’ and identified two important indicators: (i) metres drilled for minerals exploration and (ii) level of production of minerals and extractives. AMEC continues to work with Government on the new legislation amendments released last year and in the important task of shaping a sustainable framework for the continued growth of the minerals industry in Victoria.

ABS March 2024 Quarter Exploration Data – VICTORIA

  • Total – $28.9M (DecQ 2023: $29.4M; MarQ 2023: $47.0M)
  • Greenfields – $7.9M (DecQ 2023: $6.4M; MarQ 2023: $4.9M)
  • Brownfields – $21.0M (DecQ 2023: $23.0M; MarQ 2023: $42.1M)

Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2023 Results – VICTORIA

  • Investment attractiveness index: 48/86
  • Policy perception index: 48/86
  • Best practices mineral potential index: 38/58
  • Lengthening permit approval times were also noted by 80% of respondents for Victoria. 60% of respondents said it was an average of 24 months is expected to spend getting the necessary permits, licences, or notices of work, etc. to conduct exploration activities. 100% of the respondents for Victoria claimed they couldn’t get their exploration permits in under 6 months—the highest permitting time for all jurisdictions in that metric.

 

TASMANIA

First round 8 EDGI data released

Mineral Resources Tasmania (MRT) released its first Round 8 EDGI co-funded drilling project report, having been completed in October 2023. Data includes the final report and all available geological, geochemical, and geophysical data, as well as drill core photos. The rest of Round 8 projects are expected to be completed in early November 2024.

Guide to recording and reporting drone geophysical data

MRT’s Reporting Guidelines specify that airborne geophysical data are submitted according to the ASEG-GDF2 standards developed and maintained by the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Recently the ASEG also endorsed the Guidelines for Drone Geophysics, developed by an international committee of practitioners including ASEG members. The guidelines are available for download
MRT considers drone surveys to be airborne geophysical surveys, which must be reported according to the ASEG standards, the same as on-board-piloted fixed-wing and helicopter platforms. This includes the requirement under section 165 of the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 that all aerial geophysical surveys must be approved, prior to commencement, by the Director of Mines.

ABS March 2024 Quarter Exploration Data – TASMANIA

  • Total – $7.5M (DecQ 2023: $8.5M; MarQ 2023: $9.4M)
  • Greenfields – $1.7M (DecQ 2023: $1.0M; MarQ 2023: $1.6M)
  • Brownfields – $5.8M (DecQ 2023: $7.5M; MarQ 2023: $4.9M)

 

Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2023 Results – TASMANIA

  • Investment attractiveness index: 33/86
  • Policy perception index: 29/86
  • Best practices mineral potential index: 28/58
  • Respondents were increasingly concerned about uncertainty regarding Tasmania’s protected areas (+35 points), disputed land claims (+29 points), and regulatory duplication (+28 points). On overall investment attractiveness Tasmania ranked second last of all the Australian jurisdictions.