PetraGas exploration licence application process clarified
The Director of Mines, Kim Creak, today in the interest of informed public debate clarified the process to be followed in relation to Petragas Pty Ltd’s application for an exploration licence in the Kempton region.
Mr Creak said that Mineral Resources Tasmania (through the Mineral Resources Development Act and the Directors Statutory Authority) is obliged to consider an application from a potential explorer for an exploration licence if it meets the following criteria:
• approved form
• specifies the mineral and the work to be carried out
• identifies the financial and technical bona fides of the proponent,
• the proposed expenditure and
• the likely impacts on the environment.
“We need to be clear. This is just an exploration licence and it involves conventional exploration techniques and the licence application is still in process,” Mr Creak said.
Mr Creak said that PetraGas Pty Ltd was seeking an exploration licence to look for shale oil prospects and did not have any plans to look for coal seam gas.
“As part of the legislated process, the application is made public and objections from people who might be directly affected can be lodged for a period of 28 days after the public notice,” he said.
“Closing date for objections is COB this Monday 12 August 2013.
“Legitimate objections can be dealt with through mediation, hearings before a Mining Tribunal (before a Magistrate) or can be ultimately appealed to the Supreme Court.
Mr Creak said that the explorer must develop a Mineral Resources Tasmania approved work plan and consult with landholders prior to any activity on the ground.
“PetraGas has proposed a two year work program of discovery using conventional techniques to explore the geology of the area,” he said.
“Hydraulic stimulation or ‘fracking’ is not part of this proposal.
“As with all exploration licences granted by MRT, strict measures are required to be in place to protect landowners.
“An adequate security bond is required, before work starts to compensate the Crown and the landholder should any damage be caused by the activity or any other licence condition is breached.”
Mr Creak said that an exploration licence was not a mining lease.
“If in the event PetraGas is granted an exploration licence to undertake a two year exploratory work program, the company would still have to go through a very strict assessment process involving consultation with key stakeholders and approving authorities including MRT, local government and the Environmental Protection Authority prior to any lease being issued,” Mr Creak said.
PetraGas is proposing to meet with key stakeholders and the local community to ensure open and transparent consultation with the community.
If any land owner has any questions, they are encouraged to contact Mineral Resources Tasmania.
Prospecting for other economic minerals in situ
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