Effective 1 October 2016, explorers will no longer be required to lodge a separate Rehabilitation Cost Estimate (RCE) with Common Exploration Activities (CEA) applications, if the cost of rehabilitation across the title is less than $10,000.
Changes will be made to form ESF4: Application to Conduct Exploration Activities to reflect this change.
The operational procedural change is consistent with NSW Department of Resource and Energy’s risk-based approach to regulation and removes the additional administrative requirements for the majority of small, low-risk exploration activities.
Responding to feedback, DRE determined the administrative burden placed on industry and the level of regulatory involvement in assessing and enforcing securities for CEAs is disproportionate to the low-level risks for small projects.
For larger projects, where rehabilitation is costed at more than $10,000, the explorer will still require a separate RCE to be submitted with CEA applications. Non-CEA exploration activities will also require an RCE.