Western Australia leads world with Mining Rehabilitation Fund
One month after launching the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF), WA’s Mines Minister Bill Marmion last week congratulated the WA mining industry on its support of the scheme, saying it was an Australian-first.
“The MRF has achieved two major coups,” Mr Marmion said. “The fund, replacing the old system of holding bond securities from tenement holders, is an Australian first.
“Also, the technology we developed to administer the MRF is the world’s first fully online system for monitoring minesite rehabilitation.”
The MRF, which became compulsory on July 1, 2014, requires the holders of WA’s 22,086 tenements to make annual contributions to the fund, calculated on the amount and type of ground disturbed as a result of exploration and mining activities.
The department issued 1,183 fine notices for non-compliance on July 2 but has since waived 914 fines, as tenement holders responded.
The superseded Unconditional Performance Bond (UPB) system tied up $1.2billion of resources company funds.
“The MRF has already freed up almost $300million and will release much more, which is good news for the mining industry,” the Minister said.
Interest earned from the MRF will be used to rehabilitate legacy mine sites, with pilot projects due to be announced later this year.
The MRF’s success has sparked interest from overseas jurisdictions and Queensland and New South Wales.