Mining rehabilitation fund draws industry approval

A new fund to improve mine rehabilitation has attracted more than 300 voluntary registrations from the state’s pool of resource and related industry employers.

The Mining Rehabilitation Fund came into effect on 1 July 2013 to replace the state’s former environmental bonds system. The Fund, managed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), will compile contributions from industry employers based on a percentage of total closure liabilities.

The voluntary opt-in period will last until 1 July 2014 before becoming mandatory, but DMP executive director Dr Phil Gorey has commended industry employers for expressing an early interest in the new system.

“The new fund was developed through extensive consultation and research and provides a more flexible and cost effective system for the industry,” Dr Gorey says.

“To have more than 300 tenement holders register in advance of the start of the opt-in period is a terrific response.”

Bonds will only be retained for some high-risk operations. For more information about the Fund, click here.

Inquiry into the Economic Implications of FLNG

THE economic implications of floating liquefied natural gas operations will be the focus of a new government inquiry to be carried out by the state government.

The Economics and industry Standing Committee of the Parliament of Western Australia will identify how the floating LNG operations impact on sectors including:

  • Engineering and design;
  • Fabrication and manufacturing;
  • Construction and ancillary services; and
  • Domestic gas supply and industrial gas users.

The Committee will also identify the extent to which the use of floating liquefied natural gas operations will impact upon state revenue in Western Australia.

The report of the Committee is to be tabled by 29 May 2014.

Further information about the inquiry, including information about making a submission is available here.

DMP launches mine safety crackdown

Two serious incidents at the Karara mine site in the state’s mid-west have prompted a government focus on policing health and safety practices across the resource sector in Western Australia.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum have commenced investigations after a worker was seriously injured while removing a spreader bar from an iron ore screen box in late May, and a crane dropped cargo in close proximity to four workers during April this year.

“It is unsettling and disappointing that these incidents have occurred, so it is upto my inspectors to get to the root of the cause,” DMP executive director Simon Ridge said.

Though injuries on mid-west mine sites have numbered above forty in twelve months with more than 250 ‘near misses’, Mr Ridge has commended a growing focus on safety in the resource sector.

“A 50% decrease in lost time injury frequency rates shows attitudes to mine safety are improving across Western Australia, but while you can’t eliminate risk, you can work to mitigate it and that what workers and managers need to be doing at all times,” he said.

Other mine sites of significant concern included the Goldfields and St Ives.

For more information, click here.