WA govt to clear red tape for miners

17th October 2017 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Western Australian government has committed to a number of reforms to support the state’s nickel industry.

Speaking at the Paydirt nickel conference, in Perth, on Tuesday, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said that the government was committed to reducing red tape and regulatory duplications to deliver a more effective public sector.

The government reforms being undertaken include a continual improvement of health and safety regulations, amendments to the Mining Act and Environmental Protection Act, and adjusting the machinery of government in order to make the government more efficient by reducing the number of government agencies.

“We do understand that it is only by being as efficient as we need to be, that we can allow the industry to get on with business,” Johnston said on Tuesday.

Western Australia accounts for all of the nickel production in Australia, and represents around 7% of global production.

During 2016/17, nickel sales volumes from Western Australia declined by 11% compared with the previous financial year, to 157 000 t with the overall value dropping from A$2.2-billion in 2015/16 to A$2.1-billion in 2016/17.

Western Australia also accounted for the largest expenditure on nickel exploration in Australia in 2016/17, with over A$67-million spent on nickel and cobalt exploration during the year, up from the A$47-million spent over the last year.