Mining levy passed to address legacy sites

MINERS will soon be funding the state government’s legacy mine remediation initiative after the Mining Management Amendment Bill 2013 was passed through parliament on Thursday last week.

From 1 October 2013, a 1% environmental levy will be applied to environmental securities lodged with the Department of Mines and Energy to support efforts to rehabilitate legacy mines across the Northern Territory.

The levy is expected to generate $6.45m in its first year, two thirds of which will establish a dedicated mine legacy unit.

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive Simon Bennison has expressed concern for the tax, saying it will damage the Territory’s resource industry.

“AMEC seeks a commitment from the Minister to consult with industry on the removal of the tax,” Mr Bennison said.

“It is time for proper consultation to look at all alternatives in addressing legacy sites because it is hard to see the logic of punishing current operators in the Territory while legacy site remediation is provided as business-as-usual in other states.

“It is essential that we remove barriers to doing business in the Northern Territory to encourage investment, not add additional taxes to an increasingly costly industry.”

Western Australia has also instated a new mine rehabilitation funding scheme, abandoning bonds in favour of an annual contribution based on a percentage of total closure liabilities.