In passing the bill through the upper house of the NSW parliament, the state’s Minister for Mineral Resources Ian Macdonald said the bill would amend the Mining Act to ensure the process set out in the legislation reflects the existing practice for mining lease applications.
When the bill comes into force it will validate any mining lease granted previously – provided the grant followed the correct process laid out in the bill.
Felix said as the correct process was followed in the case of the Moolarben mining lease the company believed the amendment would support its case.
The NSW government granted Felix’s mining leases over Moolarben’s stage 1 development in December 2007.
However, major mining house Xstrata challenged the validity of those mining leases and in August the NSW Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Swiss company – but no orders were made by the court at the time.
Felix’s managing director Brian Flannery said the government’s decision to pass the bill had restored clarity and certainty to mining leases which had been placed at risk by litigation.
Felix said it can now proceed with the development of the mine after paying compensation to the affected landowners.
Shares in the company rocketed this morning.