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More mines will reopen under new rules

Tailings from the mine near Wittenoom township
A file photo of tailings from the asbestos mine near Wittenoom, Western Australia. (Wikimedia Commons)

New proponents will be allowed to bid for the opportunity to mine or develop a disclaimed or abandoned operation.

The Queensland Government has changed its previous policy that prevented some disclaimed mining leases from being transferred to a new proponent due to the original operator’s history of insolvency, bankruptcy, fraud or dishonesty.

The new owner would still be subject to the State Government’s rigorous mining lease application process, which includes meeting environmental and native title requirements.

These changes to the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020, which took effect on September 7, are promised to strengthen safety laws in the resources sector and improve financial assurance, administration and efficiency of the regulatory framework.

‘Another shot at life’

“In the past we have seen mines cease production and be returned to the state – now more than ever we need to do everything in our power to keep those jobs and mines working,” State Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said in a public statement.

“With these reforms, we will also be able to give old mines another shot at life by putting sites that are still commercially viable out to competitive tender.”

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