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Policy for Amalgamating and Relinquishing Exploration Licences

Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (MRSDA) Section 36 and Section 38A(1), (2), (2A) and (2B)

Background

1. Section 36 provides that the Minister may, at the request of the licensee, amalgamate two or more licences of the same type and held by the same person. Section 36 also provides for the Minister to nominate which licence covers the amalgamated area and must cancel the other licences.

2. Section 38A(1), (2), (2A) and (2B) deals with the reduction in area of an exploration licence. In essence, an exploration licence must, unless the Minister decides otherwise, be reduced in area by:

  • At least 25% of the total number of graticular sections covered by the licence on the second anniversary; and
  • At least a further 35% of the total number of graticular sections covered by the licence as originally granted, on the fourth anniversary; and
  • At least 20% of the total number of graticular sections covered by the licence as originally granted, on the seventh anniversary; and
  • At least 10% of the total number of graticular sections covered by the licence as originally granted, on the tenth anniversary.

Policy

3. In administering the MRSDA, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) policy is that amalgamation requests in accordance with Section 36 will be considered in the context of the intent of the relinquishment requirements of Section 38A(1), (2), (2A) and (2B): Amalgamation may be considered where:

  • Licences are of the same relinquishment status (refer to example scenario 1- diagram below)
  • Licences have not passed the fourth, seventh or tenth anniversary and have a different relinquishment status. The licensee must agree that prior to amalgamation, each licence has the same relinquishment status for the purpose of complying with Section 38A of the MRSDA (refer to example scenario 2 diagram below).
  • A licence that has passed the fourth, seventh or tenth anniversary will only be considered for amalgamation with a licence of a different relinquishment status if exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated (refer to example scenario 3 diagram below).
Chart showing Exploration Licence Relinquishment/Amalgamation Policy for three Scenarios over 5 years.