APPROVALS processes for mining and petroleum projects have improved greatly this quarter, channelling the West Australian Government’s plan to reduce red tape for resource employers.

The latest report from the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) revealed that during the September quarter, 526 mineral exploration and prospecting applications were received by the state government.

Of those, 94% of mineral exploration Programme of Work (PoW) applications were assessed within the target 30-day deadline.

Director General Richard Sellers said the DMP was committed to an efficient and timely approvals process to support mineral exploration.

“The new figures are a significant improvement from the previous quarter where only 68% cent of PoWs were finalised within the 30-day timeframe,” Mr Sellers said.

“The September report also shows that the proportion of online applications has steadily increased to around 50% of the total number of applications, leading to further efficiencies.”

Mr Sellers said the latest statistics showed that the value of WA’s mineral and petroleum industry in 2012-13 was $102 billion – marking the third consecutive year above $100billion.

A total of 47 native vegetation clearing permit applications were received during the quarter, of which 75 per cent were finalised within the target timeline of 60 calendar days.

“This improvement to the previous quarterly performance of 49 per cent is the result of the full implementation of a more risk-based approach to the assessment process,” Mr Sellers said.

For a copy of the September quarter report, click here.