Prospectors and mineral explorers are being warned to start digging or lose their licence.
Prospectors and mineral explorers are being warned to start digging or lose their licence. Contributed

'Use it or lose it' prospectors told

PROSPECTORS and mineral explorers are being warned to start digging or lose their licence.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said reforms to the resource sector would prevent permit holders creating vast "land banks" by setting three to five-year caps on exploration permits.

Other reforms will allow mineral explorers flexibility to modify their permits depending on what they find on-ground, without having to seek approvals from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Dr Lynham said the new legislative changes would cut red tape for explorers.

He said under the previous system an explorer with approvals to take 10 ground samples would have to reapply for approval to take only three, even if the explorer had found what they were looking for.

The new "use it or lose it" rules would also force the industry to activate their exploration permits.

The new laws would strengthen confidence in the state as a global resources investment destination, Dr Lynham said.

"These reforms ensure land is made available for future exploration for the resources essential to emerging technologies and the renewables sector, including electric and hybrid vehicles, lithium batteries, wind turbine generators and solar panels."

The reforms will also allow the publicly-owned electricity generator CleanCo to expand its portfolio of clean energy assets.

Dr Lynham said CleanCo would build, own, operate and maintain a portfolio to help increase electricity supply and drive down prices.

The changes will take effect next year.


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