This document was released a few days ago and has the recommendations that will form or at least shape mining and exploration policy in Australia in the future for both the minerals and energy sectors. A road map to where we are and where we are heading. It also includes recommendations on opening our National parks to prospecting and many vital statistics are included. And covers some of our outdoor hobbies contentious issues like Heritage and Traditional ownership and access to state and commonwealth lands.
The Tarkine National Coalition drew attention to the significant differences in
impact of the various forms of exploration activity:
Early stages of mineral exploration, including aerial reconnaissance, surveys and
mapping and stream sampling, cause little environmental disturbance. However, the
later stages of exploration, which involve cutting of grid lines, and drilling at certain
sites, involves the clearing and disturbance of vegetation and the construction of access
tracks for drilling equipment. (2012)
Assessments of proposals for exploration should recognise that the value of an area
can change over time as alternative or shared land uses become more, or less,
viable, and technologies evolve that can reduce the impact of different activities,
including exploration. As Peabody Energy Australia said in relation to resource
The need for the resources, change or substitution of land use, technology
improvements to achieve less intrusive extraction and processing etc may allow for the
extraction of resources in an areas currently considered quarantined from such activity.
(sub. DR39, p. 2)
• Tasmania — Land categorised as national parks, state reserves, nature reserves
and game reserves is excluded from an exploration licence. Exploration licences
can be granted on land categorised as nature recreation areas, state forests and
public reserves not yet proclaimed (Mineral Resources Tasmania 2012). However the "Mining industry groups" has more say in what is proclaimed as national parks and locked up than before. And given a different evaluation model than was previously used. Our Government agency MRT was consulted about the process and helped work on this document. It will hopefully reduce red and green tape and improve efficiencies.
Governments should, when deciding to declare a new national park or
conservation reserve in recognition of its environmental and heritage value, use
evidence-based analyses of the economic, social and environmental costs and
benefits of alternative or shared land use, including exploration. In doing so, they
should draw on the guiding principles of the Draft Multiple Land Use Framework
endorsed by the Standing Council on Energy and Resources.
Governments should, where consideration of exploration activity is allowed,
assess applications by explorers to access a national park or conservation reserve
according to the risk and the potential impact of the specific proposed activity on
the environmental and heritage values and on other uses and users of that
national park or conservation reserve
Mineral and Energy Resource Exploration
This report was released on 5 March 2014 and provides a description of resource exploration, the role of governments and examines the exploration licencing process.
It summarises the regulatory approvals that explorers are required to obtain in order to undertake mineral and energy resource exploration, specifically in relation to land access, Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage, environment and public geoscience information.
It also assesses non-financial barriers relating to workforce issues — labour skills, workplace relations and workplace health and safety.
Rules and regulations In Tasmania for prospecting
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