The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) is urging a reform of the Victorian Mining Act for the Australian state as well as reform of its regulatory framework to allow mining to be recognised as a “priority industry” for further regional development.

Photo: Victoria State Government

In a new Rediscover Victoria policy priorities platform released late last week, critical policies are outlined to remove impediments to minerals exploration, remove any “artificial challenges” to allowing resource discoveries to become new mines, and improve environmental and community regulation without reducing standards.

“The priorities focus on making Victoria competitive with other jurisdictions competing for exploration and mining investment,” MCA said. “Victoria stands on the cusp of a second mining rush if government seeks to make the most of that state’s rich resources.”

Victoria’s minerals industry five priorities are:

  1. Strategic minerals project support to help mining projects navigate the maze of multiple and duplicative regulatory agencies and see projects through all the stages of assessment and approval.

  2. Reform Victoria’s complex and poorly designed exploration licensing regime to give certainty to explorers and stop wasting regulator efforts on compulsory early land relinquishments.

  3. Reform the royalty tax regime by introducing an exploration deduction to encourage investment in resource replacement and devote gold royalties to communities in regional Victoria.

  4. Re-introduce a co-funded exploration grant program to match other states.

  5. Support industry efforts to introduce regionally delivered mining entry level courses to provide pathways for locals into mining jobs.

MCA stressed that Victoria’s current regulatory regime “is no longer fit for purpose” because of the growth of the mining industry there that will supply the globe with critical minerals.

“Victoria’s clumsy exploration licence regime, long permitting timeframes, restrictive bonds regime and high tax regime lag other states and urgently need to be modernised to ensure Victoria can convert its resources into mines and regional jobs,” MCA said.

It also pointed out that Victoria’s minerals industry is committed to excellence in safety, environmental responsibility, community engagement and best practice indigenous engagement.

“Government and communities have a responsible partner in modern mining and MCA Victoria members to deliver the benefits mining can have to regional towns,” it said. “It’s time to rediscover Victoria.”

Source: Minerals Council of Australia

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