Australia’s national resource industry employer group, Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), has welcomed the Queensland Government’s overhaul of approval processes for coal and mineral exploration.
Announced by Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps, the new administrative efficiencies intend for general exploration permits to be ruled on within 90 days of application. Applications subject to native title considerations will be decided within 12 months.
AMMA executive director Scott Barklamb said it currently averages almost two years for a resources company to get a response on whether its minerals exploration permit in Queensland has been approved or rejected.
“For an industry that directly employs 75,000 people in Queensland and many more in allied construction and servicing sectors, the current delay is simply not good enough,” he said.
“Australia is competing for new resource industry investment in an increasingly global marketplace. Streamlining approvals for new exploration activity is critical to restoring some of our nation’s competitive edge that has been eroded in recent years.”
AMMA also commended the Queensland Government for leading the way on more efficient and competitive regulatory and administrative processes.
“We are confident these proactive moves by our states, when implemented alongside the Abbott Government’s Exploration Development Incentive scheme, will breathe new life into Australia’s exploration sector,” Mr Barklamb said.
“The exploration sector delivers the R&D for larger mining projects from which massive economic and employment benefits flow. When vibrant and healthy, exploration activity is the cornerstone of a growing national resource industry.”