What is a project management plan (PMP)?

When is a project management plan (PMP) needed?

Under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, a mining operator must have an approved project management plan (PMP) in place before any construction or mining operations commence.

A PMP also needs to be submitted when recommencing mining operations involving underground or open cut mining operations if the mine was not being used immediately before the commencement day.

The PMP must be submitted to the State Mining Engineer for assessment, and approved prior to start-up.

Further information: Small quarries and sand pits – specifically those that produce products for sale or commercial use – are considered to be ‘small mines’ and may be subject to the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994. This means ‘small mines’ are also required to submit a PMP for approval.

After the PMP is approved, a notification is required for the commencement or recommencement of a mining operation.

Purpose of a PMP

The preparation of a PMP is the basis for the initial identification of potential major risks at the various stages of the operation’s life cycle, from construction to development, production and closure. It is a starting point for developing ongoing strategies to manage those risks.

The PMP should therefore be considered by the principal employer and mine manager as an important tool in their due diligence process to develop an appropriate site-specific occupational health and safety management system.

Further information: If such a plan is not in place, the safety of workers may be compromised and the department’s mines inspectors will suspend operations until a PMP is approved. Resources are available to assist operators to comply.

Submission of a PMP

PMP submission is now done online using the Safety Regulation System (SRS).

A reasonable period of time should be allowed for adequate assessment of the PMP and to obtain the State Mining Engineer’s approval under the provision of section 42(2) of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994. The current target for proposal assessment is 30 working days.

For more on the process and what needs to be included, see Submitting a project management plan (PMP).

The State Mining Engineer’s approval to commence mining is also required by conditions attached to mining leases under the provisions of the Mining Act 1978.

Refer to s. 42(2) of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994.