The Minister for Mines and Energy Willem Westra Van Holthe was last week pleased to report the passing of the Mining Management Amendment Bill in Parliament.
Mr Westra Van Holthe revealed the Territory Government was absolutely committed to supporting the mining industry, while also understanding of the changing community expectation regarding the impacts of mining activities on the environment.
“We recognise the level of environmental performance expected from the mining sector in 2013 is vastly higher than that in previous decades. Regrettably the Territory has a significant number of legacy mining sites with ongoing negative impacts on the environment. Such sites need to be appropriately assessed to gauge the level and nature of these impacts, and then appropriately remediated over time,” he said.
Under last week’s amendments to the Mining Management Act (MMA), a 1% levy was introduced to be applied on environmental securities lodged with the Department of Mines and Energy.
“Revenue from the levy will be available to begin tackling the significant legacy issues we face. The levy is expected to generate $6.45million in its first year, with a third of the revenue going directly to a specific mining remediation fund.”
Mr Westra Van Holthe believes the remainder of the revenue generated should be used to create a dedicated legacy mining unit, as well as to support the department’s mining environmental compliance division, through ongoing activities relating to environmental legacies.
The new amendments to the MMA, including the levy on mining securities, are set to come into effect on 1 October 2013.