News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Miners lose edge as NSW government balances profits against environment; drones are on the rise at Aussie mines; and some green shoots in dire mineral exploration data.

Lou Caruana

Miners lose edge as NSW government balances profits against environment

The New South Wales government has amended its mining policy process to give equal billing to a project's economic, environmental and social impacts when determining approval in a move likely to anger the mining industry, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The plan to change the mining State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) to end the priority being given to economic factors is understood to have won “broad support” when it went to cabinet on Friday.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said in a statement on Monday that the community had been overwhelmingly in favour of the change.

Drones are on the rise at Aussie mines

Australia’s biggest mining companies are turning to drones for a competitive advantage, according to the Australian Financial Review.

With mines, railways and ports sprawling over hundreds of kilometres, unmanned drones are increasingly being used by miners to check equipment, measure ore stockpiles and look after companies' environmental obligations.

The growing use of drones in industrial settings will go under the microscope at a conference in Perth, where mining companies and aviation regulators meet.

Some green shoots in dire mineral exploration data

Australia's spend on mineral exploration slid by a third in just 12 months to its lowest level in nine years as miners continue to hammer down costs and expenditure, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says the national spend on exploration fell 33% year on year to just $A322 million in the June quarter, led by $30 million of spending evaporating in Western Australia.

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