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NSWMC clears up access misconceptions

THE New South Wales Minerals Council wants to set the record straight on the blurred line between mining and exploration in the current land access debate.

Lauren Barrett
NSWMC clears up access misconceptions

NSWMC chief executive officer Nikki Williams said exploration and mining should not be put into the same category.

“Minerals exploration and mining are two separate processes, and due to a range of factors one might not necessarily lead to the other,” Williams said in a statement.

“For example, the resource may not be economically viable to extract and if there is a potential for a mine to be developed it must be assessed on a case-to-case basis.”

Williams sought to reassure landowners of their rights in respect to mining leases.

“There is also a misconception that landowners have no rights if a mining company obtains approval to develop mine on their line,” she said.

“This is simply not the case.

“In NSW, landowners do have rights around exploration and land access.

“Minerals explorers are not allowed to access land until they have reached an individual agreement with the landowner.”

Under the Mining Act 1992 landowners have the right to negotiate the terms of access and can veto the granting of a mining lease over the surface of their land.

Williams said more than 60 minerals explorers would gather in Bathurst next Tuesday to discuss land access legislation.

The NSW government recently lifted a 60-day moratorium which paved the way for tough new laws governing coal exploration.

The O’Farrell government’s agenda includes greater public consultation, heavy environmental requirements and an extension of a ban on hydraulic fracturing until the end of the year.

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