Law changes breathe new life into old, abandoned mines
NEW reforms that give old mines another shot at life and encourage new mines to be built will take effect today.
Tougher financial checks and balances on mining lease holders also form part of the changes.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the changes would strengthen Queensland’s mining
sector and help reboot the economy post-COVID.
People can now be disqualified from being granted or transferred a mining lease if they have been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or have a history of insolvency or bankruptcy.
Large mineral mines, including gold, copper and zinc mines, will now need a development plan showing a set timeline for when and how they plan to develop a mine and grow jobs.
People who operate Queensland mines must be of good character, have a strong financial balance sheet and the proven intent to move forward with projects and create jobs.
“These reforms are about ensuring the right people and companies hold mining leases in Queensland so we see more jobs created,” Dr Lynham said.
“They also act as insurance for Queensland taxpayers by reducing the risk of mines being disclaimed.”
He said over the past five years, several large mines had been abandoned after the company went into liquidation.
“In the past we’ve seen mines cease production and be returned to the state — now more than ever we need to do everything in our power to keep those jobs and mines working,” Dr Lynham said.
“With these reforms, we’ll also be able to give old mines another shot at life by putting sites that are still commercially viable out to competitive tender.”
The reforms that kick in from today are the final provisions from the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 that was passed by the Queensland Parliament on May 20.