Initial data analysis indicates more land is under rehabilitation
|Date:||Monday, 20 July 2015|
Ninety eight per cent of MRF reports completed by deadline
The second compulsory reporting year of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) has resulted in an impressive 98 per cent of reports lodged before the 30 June deadline.
Department of Mines and Petroleum Executive Director Environment Dr Phil Gorey said the high compliance rate was a credit to tenement holders and the department’s MRF team.
“It’s extremely pleasing that industry has embraced the MRF so strongly with a nearly two per cent higher compliance rate this year than in 2014,” Dr Gorey said.
“The department provided a lot of support for tenement holders and tenement management companies in the months leading up to the reporting deadline.
“The higher rate of compliance this year suggests tenement holders were not only made aware of their reporting obligations but had the support they needed when navigating the online reporting system.”
Initial analysis of 2014-15 disturbance data indicates the amount of land under rehabilitation is seven per cent higher than the previous year.
“The best way for tenement holders to reduce their MRF levy payments is to undertake early and ongoing rehabilitation,” Dr Gorey said.
“Earlier this year the department released on online MRF calculator to assist tenement holders calculate their rehabilitation liability and MRF levy payable.
“This tool was developed in response to suggestions from tenement holders and has received very positive feedback.
“Many tenement holders have also indicated that they’ve put their retired unconditional performance bond money received after they entered the MRF towards rehabilitation.
“Early and ongoing rehabilitation reduces the MRF levy payable and the State’s rehabilitation liability in the event that an operator is unable to fulfil their environmental obligations following mine closure.”
Disturbance data needed to be lodged for almost 20,000 Mining Act tenements this year.
Tenement holders who have not yet submitted their MRF report for 2014-15 will be issued a $4000 fine under legislative requirements.
“Payments received on levy notices issued this year should result in a further $25 million paid into the fund, which has a current balance of more than $33 million,” Dr Gorey said.
Although the Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 allows DMP to issue a 30 day levy notice payment period, the department has again given tenement holders 60 days to pay.
Audits will be undertaken on a cross-section of 2014-15 MRF reports to ensure the data that has been lodged is accurate and the State is being adequately compensated for the rehabilitation liability on mining tenements.