Australia: Stage two of the NSW Integrated Mining Policy released for public comment

Corrs in Brief

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has recently released a number of guidelines for public comment, comprising the second stage of the proposed Integrated Mining Policy (IMP). The IMP is designed to provide greater consistency in the assessment and regulation of State significant mining developments, shorter timeframes for the assessment of mining projects and simpler controls on approved projects.

Consultation with the community and industry regarding the IMP has been split into two stages. The first stage, which sought consultation on the Mine Application Guidelines, the Standardised Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements and the Swamp Offsets Policy, concluded on 9 July 2015. The DPE is currently considering feedback.

The second stage of consultation commenced on 28 July 2015, with the release of the following documents for public comment:

  1. Post Approval Guideline: Independent Audit Guidelines;
  2. Post Approval Guideline: Web-based Reporting Guidelines;
  3. Post-Approval Guideline: Annual Review Guidelines;
  4. Water Regulation and Policy; and
  5. Planning Agreement Guidelines.

(together, the Stage Two Documents).

The exhibition of the Stage Two Documents is open until 7 September 2015.

THE STAGE TWO DOCUMENTS

The Post Approval Guideline: Independent Audit Guidelines aim to ensure that independent audits of State significant mining developments in NSW adopt a consistent approach and meet minimum audit standards. Guidelines are outlined for the selection and approval of the audit team, audit methodology, including agency and community consultation requirements, and audit reporting, in order to improve the consistency, quality and transparency of audits. This guideline will be relevant for any State significant mining development required to undertake periodic inspection audits, whether under conditions of development consent or required by regulators as part of compliance and enforcement operations.

The Post Approval Guideline: Web-based Reporting Guidelines encourage operators to apply a consistent and transparent approach to the publication of information regarding mining operations. Mining operators are encouraged to publish a range of information about mining operations online, including specific information and links to documents such as compliance reports, audit reports, incidents registers, community complaints registers and blasting notifications.

The Post-Approval Guideline: Annual Review Guidelines aim to assist mining operators in the preparation of their annual reviews. These guidelines set out detailed requirements for reviews, both in terms of form and content, which are likely to be more prescriptive than requirements under existing development consents, project approvals or mining lease conditions. By following these guidelines, mining operators can ensure that they meet both the:

  1. annual review requirements of the DPE under conditions of a development consent or project approval; and
  2. environmental management report requirements of the NSW Division of Resources & Energy under the conditions of a mining lease.

The DPE has indicated that it is currently working to further streamline report requirements by aligning requirements for annual reviews and Environment Protection Licence Annual Returns.

The Water Regulation and Policy provides an overview of the current policies and regulations in relation to possible water impacts from mining and petroleum developments in NSW. It is not a prescriptive guideline. Rather, it is designed to assist proponents in understanding how the NSW Government regulates the impacts of mining developments on water resources by setting out the water and policy framework. This guideline is current as at April 2015, but is likely to require revision to reflect legislative changes that may occur in this area.

The Planning Agreement Guidelines aim to assist councils and mining companies in negotiating planning agreements for State significant mining developments. These guidelines are designed to promote best practice in the preparation of planning agreements and do not contain any prescriptive requirements.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Stage Two Documents are available for review and comment here until 7 September 2015.

It is not yet clear when the IMP is intended to commence. The DPE has indicated that, at the end of the exhibition period, it will review all submissions on the IMP and report to the Minister for Planning. The Minister for Planning will then make a decision about the proposed changes.

IMPLICATIONS FOR EXISTING MINING OPERATORS AND FUTURE PROPONENTS

The exhibition material for the IMP indicates that the IMP will apply to Stage significant mining projects, including coal and mineral mines. It will not apply to petroleum operations, coal seam gas proposals or exploration activities.

As State significant mining projects approved after commencement of the IMP will be required to comply with the IMP, future proponents should familiarise themselves with IMP requirements to ensure that these are factored into feasibility assessments and project timelines. However, for the most part, the guidelines comprising the IMP encapsulate existing best practice and are unlikely to have unmanageable time or cost implications for proponents.

It is unclear whether the IMP will apply to existing projects approved under former major projects regimes, such as transitional Part 3A projects that have not been brought under the operation of the State significant developments regime. The DPE intends consulting with existing project proponents once the IMP has been finalised. However, it is safe to assume that, in order to meet its objectives of providing a greater level of consistency, the DPE will take opportunities to roll out the IMP where possible. Where modifications of existing development consents or project approvals are sought, the DPE may introduce conditions requiring compliance with the guidelines comprising the IMP (whether in whole or in part).

Further, even if the IMP does not apply, operators should consider the value in voluntarily aligning existing operations with IMP requirements. Once in force, the IMP will represent best practice, meaning compliance with the IMP is likely to contribute to the social licence (i.e. community acceptance) of the development.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Most awarded firm and Australian deal of the year
Australasian Legal Business Awards
Employer of Choice for Women
Equal Opportunity for Women
in the Workplace (EOWA)

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions