PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has welcomed the Northern Territory government’s releases of a code of conduct for mineral explorers in the region, saying it would help explorers and land managers work together for more jobs and greater prosperity for all Territorians.
The code is voluntary and is aimed at providing practical guidance to assist mineral explorers to conduct themselves appropriately and with consideration for the landowner, and meet their environmental obligations to maintain a high standard of environmental management and performance.
The code is designed to complement legal requirements that regulate mineral exploration on pastoral leases and private land in the territory, but does not replace or add to current statutory requirements.
MCA executive director for the Northern Territory Drew Wagner said on Wednesday that the code was the result of productive collaboration between the Northern Territory government and the minerals industry to develop a user-friendly reference to guide discussions between mineral explorers and land managers and ensure that parties understand mutual responsibilities to avoid or minimise interference with activities on overlapping mineral and pastoral leases.
“The ability to negotiate mutually-acceptable land access agreements is a critical prerequisite for explorers to be able to discover resources that can lead to new mines, new jobs and greater prosperity for Territorians, particularly in regional and remote locations.
“Establishment of new environmentally-sustainable mines will help the Northern Territory achieve the ambitious target of a A$40-billion economy by 2030 identified in the final report of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission in December 2020, which identified mining as one of the key industries to underpin the Territory’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Wagner.
He noted that exploration could be a concern for lease-holders and land-managers, particularly on properties that have been run and managed as family businesses for generations.
“The territory’s mining industry recognises its responsibility as a temporary custodian of land to contribute to sustainable land-use outcomes, including making land available for pastoral use after rehabilitation and closure of mine sites.”