Exploration and mining licences
Holders of an exploration or mining licence under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 must:
- maintain the required annual minimum levels of expenditure (where applicable)
- report the details of expenditures made on the licence in annual statutory returns.
The purpose of the annual statutory returns is to provide a record of the amount that the licensee has expended on the operation. From this information, the department can assess whether the annual expenditure commitment is being met.
The department monitors the results of these returns and will closely examine licences that are not meeting their expenditure requirement.
The department may also examine licences that are reporting satisfactory expenditure. This may be undertaken where it appears that the reported expenditure is substantially higher than what would normally be spent for that type of operation, or where the reported expenditure does not appear to be reflected in the actual on-site work.
In cases where a licence has been audited and there is doubt as to the accuracy of the reported expenditure, the department may request that the licensee provide documentation to substantiate the expenditure being reported. Substantiation may include:
- Wages and salaries - Group Certificates/ number of hours worked where claiming own labour
- Equipment plant and machinery - receipts for purchase of equipment, hiring costs, maintenance, contractors
- Administration - receipts for payment of rent, purchase of consumables
- Rehabilitation - receipts for purchase of seedlings or plants, etc.
- Exploration - receipts for analysis work, testing, etc.
All licensees should retain documentation which substantiates expenditures, in case an audit is required. Expenditure records should be retained for at least five years. Failure to verify expenditure claims may result in the department's records being adjusted to reduce the claimed amount. Failure to maintain expenditure to the department's satisfaction may result in licence cancellation.
Page last updated: 02 Jun 2021