The process for granting mining leases, production licences and exploration licences requires the applicant to supply details relating to their exploration, production or mining program, their technical capacity to complete the work and their financial resources. Tenement applications are assessed by appropriately qualified and experienced MRT staff in order to ensure positive outcomes for both the state and the applicants.
The responsibility for granting a new lease or licence falls to the Minister, who makes his decision under advisement from the Director of Mines. Once an assessment is complete, the Director of Mines will make a recommendation to the Minister based upon the assessment which the Minister may chose to act on.
The time taken to grant a tenement is greatly reduced when the applicant supplies all relevant data, and pays fees in a timely fashion.
The first step toward the granting of an exploration licence is for the applicant to complete an application form and pay the prescribed fee. An application must include the following:
- An outline of the exploration program proposed to be carried out during the first two years of the licence;
- A description of the application area (a topographic plan may suffice);
- The category of minerals for which the licence is sought. Licences can be issued for more than one category of minerals. The applicant should state what exploration activities will be undertaken to explore for each category;
- Details of financial and technical resources available to the applicant. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have the technical and financial capability to undertake the proposed exploration program. See application form for further information on the type of evidence that is required;
- An estimate of proposed expenditure for the first two years of the licence;
- A statement of the aims, exploration philosophy, exploration program and environmental management system including information on the likely impact on the environment. If details of proposed exploration activities and the possible environmental effects are not known at this stage, the explorer may note here that all works will be conducted in accordance with the Mineral Exploration Code of Practice;
- Details of current tenement holdings, both in Tasmania;
- A separate summary of the proposed exploration program for public distribution at the time of advertising of the licence application;
- A copy of the current annual report if the applicant is a company and this has not been provided previously;
- Evidence that the specified persons have agreed to assist with the exploration program;
- Evidence of the financial resources available to the applicant;
- A copy of the Certificate of Currency of the applicant's Public Liability Insurance;
- Proof of identity of applicant:
- Minimum age of 18 years if applicant is not a company.
- e.g. Individual - Photocopy of Drivers Licence, Passport
- Company - Photocopy of Certificate of Incorporation or Australian Companies Number (ACN) and list of directors/office holders
- Evidence that the person signing this application is authorised to do so;
- The prescribed application fee.
It is not necessary for the applicant to mark the application area out on the ground.
Once the application has been completed and submitted to Mineral Resources Tasmania, the area of the application will be considered in relation to existing tenements and relevant land tenures to ensure the land is available. The application will then be assessed by tenement administration for completeness before being assigned to a geologist for assessment of the first two years of the work program and to ensure that the budgeted expenditure is appropriate for the level of work.
If all is in order the application is accepted and entered into the mining register. The applicant has 12 months from this point to ensure that all extraneous data is supplied to MRT in order for the Director to make a recommendation to the Minister to grant or refuse the licence. The applicant must arrange for an inspector to make an assessment of the tenement in order to determine the amount of the security deposit to be paid, as well as assessing whether special conditions should be applied to the licence.
Once the security deposit has been paid and all other fees and documentation are in order, the licence will be advertised in a newspaper local to the area of the tenement. The public may make comment for a period of 28 days following the advertisement of the tenement. Those with an estate in lands, or a proprietary interest in lands within the tenement boundary may object to the granting of the exploration licence within the 28 day period following the public notice. Any objections received from persons without an estate or interest are used by MRT in assisting them to detail appropriate licence conditions.
If there are no objections the Director of Mines may make a recommendation to the Minister that the licence be granted. If there are objections mediation will commence.
Once the Minister receives a recommendation from the Director he may act on that recommendation, or he may act contrary to the recommendation of the Director. The licence is considered granted on the date it is signed by the Minister.