“The commencement of the new Mining Rehabilitation Fund on 1 July 2013 is a timely and welcome boost for mid tier miners and junior exploration companies in Western Australia”, said Simon Bennison, AMEC CEO.
Following the passage of legislation to create the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) in late 2012 AMEC has continued to work closely with the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) to ensure a smooth transition, which will ultimately free up cash which is currently being used to support unconditional performance bonds.
From 1 July 2013 eligible companies may voluntarily apply to participate in the MRF and not be required to provide a bond as security to meet their environmental obligations. The MRF will become compulsory for all Mining Act projects from 1 July 2014.
“The MRF has apparently already attracted more than 370 voluntary registrations which is a terrific response by industry and highlights the positive reception this has had already.
“AMEC has been a major supporter and driver of this legislation and has worked closely with the DMP to develop this positive outcome for industry,” said Mr Bennison.
“As a high proportion of existing unconditional performance bonds are cash backed, immediate access to that cash will enable companies to use those funds for operational purposes and expand existing drilling programs.
“Feedback from an information seminar that AMEC conducted yesterday was overwhelmingly positive as it will be a win:win for industry and the environment.
“The challenge is now for other Australian jurisdictions to acknowledge the significant benefits, and introduce it themselves.
“While this is a great starting point, more work is required on the detail of the implementation of this initiative,” said Mr Bennison.