Offshore Minerals Act 2003

 

Offshore Minerals Act 2003

Contents

Chapter 1 — Introduction

Part 1.1 — Legislative formalities and background

1.Short title2

2.Commencement2

3.Commonwealth‑State agreement (the Offshore Constitutional Settlement)2

Part 1.2 — Interpretation

Division 1 — General

4.Notes in the text5

5.Interpretation5

5A.Relationship with Environmental Protection Act 19869

6.Shares in a licence9

7.Transfer of a licence10

8.Successor licences10

9.Section number not used11

10.Position on the Earth’s surface11

11.Section number not used12

12.Power to vary and revoke instruments12

Division 2 — Basic concepts

13. – 15.Section numbers not used13

16.Coastal waters, and effect of change in baseline13

17.Blocks15

18.Reserved block16

19.Standard block17

20.Tender block17

21.Discrete area17

22.Minerals17

23.Exploration17

24.Recovery18

25.Licence holder18

26.Associates18

27.Confidential information19

28.Confidential sample20

Part 1.3 — Administration of the Commonwealth‑State offshore area

29.Definitions21

30.Minister as member of Joint Authority, or as Designated Authority21

31.State officer acting under delegation21

32. – 34.Section numbers not used22

Part 1.4 — Application of this Act

35.Act does not apply to exploration for or recovery of petroleum23

36.Section number not used23

37.Act applies to all individuals and corporations23

Chapter 2 — Regulation of offshore exploration and mining

Part 2.1 — General

38.General prohibition on exploring and mining without appropriate authorisation24

38A.Exploration and mining in marine reserves and fish habitat protection areas24

38B.Consultation with other Ministers27

39.Licences and consents available under this Act28

40.Steps involved in the grant of a fully effective licence29

41.Approval of form and manner of applications etc.30

42.Rights to minerals recovered30

43.Effect of grant of licence or special purpose consent on native title31

44.Licence etc. does not authorise unnecessary interference with other activities in the licence area32

Part 2.2 — Exploration licences

Division 1 — General

45.Exploration licences33

46.Activities authorised by an exploration licence33

47.Minister may cancel or not renew exploration licence without compensation34

48.Licence rights may be suspended34

49.Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights35

Division 2 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over standard blocks

50.Application for exploration licence over standard block36

51.Excluded blocks36

52.Minister may determine that excluded block is available37

53.Minister may allow application for more than one discrete area38

54.How to apply38

55.Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application40

56.Payment of fee40

57.Application must be advertised40

58.How multiple applications are dealt with41

59.Discussions about blocks applied for42

60.Advertising revised application43

61.Request for further information44

62.Section number not used45

63.Minister may provisionally grant licence45

64.Section number not used45

65.Matters to be specified in the licence45

66.Applicant must be notified45

67.Amendment of conditions46

68.Amendment of security requirements46

69.Extension of primary payment period47

70.Acceptance of grant of exploration licence for standard block47

71.Conditions applicable to licence on grant48

72.Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence48

Division 3 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over tender block

73.Matters to be determined before applications for exploration licence over tender blocks invited48

74.Minister may invite applications for exploration licence over tender blocks49

75.Tender block licence notice — exploration licence49

76.Application for exploration licence over tender blocks50

77.How to apply50

78.Payment of fee51

79.Request for further information51

80.Section number not used51

81.Minister may provisionally grant licence51

82.Section number not used52

83.Successful applicant must be notified52

84.Acceptance of grant of exploration licence over tender blocks53

85.Conditions applicable to licence on grant53

86.Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence53

87.Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses53

Division 4 — Duration of exploration licence

88.Initial term of exploration licence54

89.Term of renewal of exploration licence54

90.Effect of suspension of rights on term of exploration licence55

91.Effect of application for renewal on term of exploration licence55

92.Effect of application for retention licence or mining licence on term of exploration licence56

93.Effect of application for extension on term of licence56

94.Extension of licence — activities disrupted57

95.Grant of licence extension — activities disrupted57

96.Extension of licence — other circumstances59

97.Grant of licence extension — other circumstances59

98.Notification of decision59

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of exploration licence area

99.Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains60

100.Voluntary surrender of blocks if up to 3 discrete areas remain60

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of exploration licence

101.Application for renewal of exploration licence61

102.When application to be made62

103.How to apply for renewal62

104.Mandatory reduction of licence area on renewal of exploration licence63

105.Request for further information64

106.Payment of fee64

107.Section number not used64

108.Provisional renewal of an exploration licence64

109.Section number not used65

110.Applicant must be notified65

111.Amendment of conditions66

112.Amendment of security requirements66

113.Extension of primary payment period67

114.Acceptance of renewal of exploration licence67

115.Conditions applicable to licence on renewal68

116.Lapse of provisional renewal of exploration licence68

Division 7 — Obligations associated with exploration licence

117.General68

118.Conditions of exploration licence69

119.No conditions requiring payment of money70

120.Variation of conditions70

121.Exemption from or suspension of conditions71

122.Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended73

123.Work practices73

124.Licence holder must keep specified records etc.73

125.Licence holder must assist inspectors74

Division 8 — Expiry of exploration licence

126.General74

127.Voluntary surrender of exploration licence75

128.Automatic expiry of exploration licence when retention licence takes effect75

129.Automatic expiry of exploration licence when mining licence takes effect75

130.Cancellation of exploration licence75

131.Obligations of former exploration licence holders and former associates77

Part 2.3 — Retention licences

Division 1 — General

132.Retention licences79

133.Activities authorised by a retention licence79

134.Minister may cancel or not renew retention licence without compensation80

135.Licence rights may be suspended80

136.Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights81

Division 2 — Application for and grant of retention licence

137.Application for retention licence82

138.How to apply82

139.Payment of fee84

140.Application must be advertised84

141.Request for further information85

142.Section number not used86

143.Minister may provisionally grant licence86

144.Section number not used86

145.Grounds for granting retention licence86

146.Matters to be specified in the licence87

147.Applicant must be notified87

148.Amendment of conditions88

149.Amendment of security requirements88

150.Extension of primary payment period89

151.Acceptance of grant of retention licence89

152.Conditions applicable to licence on grant90

153.Lapse of provisional grant of retention licence90

Division 3 — Duration of retention licence

154.Initial term of retention licence90

155.Term of renewal of licence91

156.Effect of application for renewal on term of retention licence91

157.Effect of application for mining licence on term of retention licence92

Division 4 — Voluntary surrender of part of retention licence area

158.Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains92

Division 5 — Application for and grant of renewal of retention licence

159.Application for renewal of retention licence93

160.When application to be made93

161.How to apply for renewal93

162.Request for further information94

163.Payment of fee94

164.Section number not used95

165.Provisional renewal of retention licence95

166.Section number not used95

167.Matters that may be taken into account95

168.Refusal of application for renewal96

169.Applicant must be notified96

170.Amendment of conditions97

171.Amendment of security requirements97

172.Extension of primary payment period98

173.Acceptance of renewal of retention licence98

174.Conditions applicable to licence on renewal99

175.Lapse of provisional renewal of retention licence99

Division 6 — Obligations associated with retention licence

176.General99

177.Conditions of retention licence100

178.No conditions requiring payment of money101

179.Variation of conditions101

180.Exemption from or suspension of conditions102

181.Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended103

182.Significant changes in circumstances to be reported to Minister104

183.Work practices104

184.Licence holder must keep specified records etc.105

185.Licence holder must assist inspectors105

Division 7 — Expiry of retention licence

186.General106

187.Voluntary surrender of retention licence106

188.Automatic expiry of retention licence when mining licence takes effect106

189.Cancellation of retention licence, breach of condition etc.107

190.Cancellation of retention licence, mining activities viable108

191.Obligations of former retention licence holders and former associates109

Part 2.4 — Mining licences

Division 1 — General

192.Mining licences111

193.Activities authorised by a mining licence111

194.Minister may cancel or not renew mining licence without compensation112

195.Licence rights may be suspended112

196.Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights113

Division 2 — Application for and grant of mining licence over standard blocks

197.Application for mining licence over vacant standard block114

198.Holder of exploration licence or retention licence may apply for mining licence114

199.How to apply115

200.Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application116

201.Payment of fee116

202.Application must be advertised116

203.How multiple applications are dealt with117

204.Request for further information118

205.Section number not used118

206.Minister may provisionally grant licence118

207.Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park119

208.Refusal of application for mining licence made under section 198119

209.Matters to be specified in the licence120

210.Applicant must be notified120

211.Amendment of conditions121

212.Amendment of security requirements121

213.Extension of primary payment period122

214.Acceptance of grant of mining licence for standard block122

215.Conditions applicable to licence on grant123

216.Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence123

Division 3 — Application for and grant of mining licence over tender block

217.Matters to be determined before applications for mining licence over tender blocks invited123

218.Minister may invite applications for mining licence over tender blocks124

219.Tender block licence notice — mining licence124

220.Application for mining licence over tender blocks125

221.How to apply125

222.Payment of fee126

223.Request for further information126

224.Section number not used127

225.Minister may provisionally grant licence127

226.Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park127

227.Successful applicant must be notified127

228.Acceptance of grant of mining licence over tender blocks128

229.Conditions applicable to licence on grant129

230.Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence129

231.Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses129

Division 4 — Duration of mining licence

232.Initial term of mining licence130

233.Term of renewal of licence130

234.Effect of application for renewal on term of mining licence131

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of mining licence area

235.Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains131

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of mining licence

236.Application for renewal of mining licence132

237.When application to be made132

238.How to apply for renewal132

239.Request for further information133

240.Payment of fee133

241.Section number not used134

242.Provisional renewal of mining licence134

243.Section number not used134

244.Matters that may be taken into account134

245.Refusal of application for renewal134

246.Applicant must be notified135

247.Amendment of conditions136

248.Amendment of security requirements136

249.Extension of primary payment period137

250.Acceptance of renewal of mining licence137

251.Conditions applicable to licence on renewal138

252.Lapse of provisional renewal of mining licence138

Division 7 — Obligations associated with mining licence

253.General138

254.Conditions of mining licence139

255.No conditions requiring payment of money140

256.Variation of conditions140

257.Exemption from or suspension of conditions141

258.Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended143

259.Work practices143

260.Licence holder must pay royalty144

261.Licence holder must keep specified records144

262.Licence holder must assist inspectors144

Division 8 — Expiry of mining licence

263.General145

264.Voluntary surrender of mining licence145

265.Cancellation of mining licence145

266.Obligations of former mining licence holders and former associates146

Part 2.5 — Works licences

Division 1 — General

267.Works licences148

268.Activities authorised by a works licence148

269.Minister may cancel or not renew works licence without compensation149

Division 2 — Application for and grant of works licence

270.Application for works licence149

271.How to apply149

272.Payment of fee150

273.Applicant to notify licence holders affected by the application150

274.Application must be advertised150

275.Section number not used151

276.Minister may provisionally grant licence152

277.Section number not used152

278.Matters to be specified in the licence152

279.Applicant must be notified152

280.Amendment of conditions153

281.Amendment of security requirements153

282.Extension of primary payment period154

283.Acceptance of grant of works licence154

284.Conditions applicable to works licence on grant155

285.Lapse of provisional grant of works licence155

Division 3 — Duration of works licence

286.Initial term of works licence155

287.Term of renewal of works licence156

288.Effect of application for renewal on term of works licence156

Division 4 — Application for and grant of renewal of works licence

289.Application for renewal of works licence157

290.When application to be made157

291.How to apply for renewal157

292.Payment of fee158

293.Section number not used158

294.Provisional renewal of works licence158

295.Section number not used159

296.Applicant must be notified159

297.Amendment of conditions159

298.Amendment of security requirements160

299.Extension of primary payment period160

300.Acceptance of renewal of works licence161

301.Conditions applicable to works licence on renewal161

302.Lapse of provisional renewal of works licence162

Division 5 — Obligations associated with works licence

303.General162

304.Conditions of works licence162

305.No conditions requiring payment of money164

306.Variation of conditions164

307.Exemption from or suspension of conditions164

308.Work practices166

309.Licence holder must keep specified records etc.166

310.Licence holder must assist inspectors167

Division 6 — Expiry of works licence

311.General167

312.Voluntary surrender of works licence167

313.Cancellation of works licence168

314.Obligations of former works licence holders and former associates169

Part 2.6 — Special purpose consents

315.Special purpose consents171

316.Activities authorised by a special purpose consent171

317.Application for a consent172

318.How to apply172

319.Payment of fee172

320.Applicant must obtain agreement of exploration, retention and mining licence holders affected by the application173

321.Applicant to notify works licence holders affected by the application173

322.Section number not used174

323.Minister may grant special purpose consent174

324.Section number not used174

325.Matters to be specified in the consent174

326.Duration of consent175

327.Conditions of consent175

Chapter 3 — Registration and Dealings

Part 3.1 — Registration

Division 1 — Preliminary

328.Register to be kept176

329.Document files to be kept176

330.Form of register and document file177

331.Correction of errors in the register177

332.Inspection of register and documents178

Division 2 — Matters to be entered in register

Subdivision A — Licences

333.Licences179

334.Renewal of licences180

335.Extension of exploration licences180

336.Expiry of licences181

337.Variations etc. to licences181

338.Transfer of licences183

339.Other dealings in licences184

340.Devolution of licences185

Subdivision B — Caveats

341.Effect of a caveat186

342.Lodgment of caveats187

343.Form of caveat187

344.Payment of fee187

345.Caveat to be registered187

346.Withdrawal of caveat188

347.Form of withdrawal188

348.Duration of caveat188

349.Notice to caveat holder189

350.Caveat holder may consent to registration191

351.Orders that can be made by a court in relation to caveats191

Division 3 — Miscellaneous

352.Fees for registration192

352A.Exemption from duty193

353.Protection from legal actions193

354.Application to court for correction of register194

355.Appeals against determinations under section 352194

356.Section number not used195

357.Evidentiary value of register195

358.Certified copy of document on document file195

359.Certification of registration action195

Part 3.2 — Dealings in licences

Division 1 — Dealings in licences to be in writing and registered

360.Dealings in licences to be in writing197

361.Dealings in interests in licences not effective until registered197

Division 2 — Approval of transfer of licences

362.Transfers require approval by Minister197

363.Application for approval of transfer198

364.Minister may ask for further information199

365.Minister’s response to application for approval199

366.Protection from legal actions200

Chapter 4 — Administration

Part 4.1 — Information management

367.Minister may ask person for information201

368.Power to ask person to appear202

369.Power to examine on oath or affirmation202

370.Minister may ask for documents203

371.Minister may ask for samples204

372.Obligation to comply with request under section 367, 368, 369, 370 or 371204

373.Immunity from use of information etc. given in response to request under section 367, 368, 369, 370 or 371205

374.Restrictions on release of confidential material206

375.Circumstances in which confidential material may be released207

376.Certain reports to be made available208

Part 4.2 — Monitoring and enforcement

Division 1 — Inspections

377.Compliance inspections209

378.Powers exercisable in course of inspection209

379.Inspection of licence‑related premises etc. without warrant211

380.Inspection of other premises etc. with occupier’s consent212

381.Inspection of other premises etc. with warrant212

382.Procedure for obtaining warrant212

383.Further provisions as to exercise of powers under warrant213

384.Occupier to cooperate with inspector213

Division 2 — Directions

385.Directions by Minister must be obeyed214

386.Scope of directions214

387.Minister may give directions215

388.Direction may incorporate material in another document216

389.Direction may impose absolute prohibition216

390.Direction may extend to associates216

391.Holder to give notice of direction to associates217

392.Power to give directions after licence etc. ends217

393.Effect of directions on other instruments218

394.Minister may specify time for compliance218

395.Minister may take action if holder fails to comply218

396.Costs incurred by Minister in taking action under section 395219

397.Defences to actions to recover debts219

Division 3 — Securities

398.Securities220

399.Determination of requirement to lodge security220

400.Application of security222

Division 4 — Restoration of environment

401.Removal of property from coastal waters222

402.Rehabilitation of damaged areas223

Division 5 — Safety zones

403.Declaration of safety zone around a structure or equipment224

404.Effect of declaration of safety zone224

405. – 420.Section numbers not used225

Part 4.3 — Inspectors

421.Appointment of inspectors226

422.Identity cards226

423.Return of identity card226

Part 4.4 — Licence fees and royalty

Division 1 — Licence fees

424.Definition227

425.Licence fees227

426.Limit on amount of fees228

427.Time for payment228

Division 2 — Royalty

428.Definition228

429.Royalty229

430.Rate of royalty229

431.Reduction of royalty in certain cases229

432.Fixing of landed value230

433.Fixing of quantity230

434.Time for payment230

435.State to pay 40% of royalties to Commonwealth230

Division 3 — Penalties and recovery

436.Penalty if fee or royalty overdue231

437.Fees etc. recoverable as debts231

Chapter 5 — Miscellaneous

438.State functions under Part 5.1 of Commonwealth Act232

439.Minister’s approval required for certain transactions under Land Administration Act 1997232

440.Delegation by Minister233

441.False statements233

442.Service of documents on licence holders etc.234

443A.Certain things are not personal property for the purposes of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Commonwealth)234

443.Regulations234

444.Savings and transitional provisions236

Schedule 1 — Area in which coastal waters are situated

Schedule 2 — Savings and transitional provisions

1.Interpretation239

2.Existing exploration licences under Mining Act for coastal waters239

3.Existing mining leases under Mining Act for coastal waters240

4.Existing exploration licences under Mining Act that relate both to coastal waters and to other areas241

5.Existing mining leases under Mining Act that relate both to coastal waters and to other areas242

6.Registration243

7.Document file244

8.Securities244

9.Licence fees244

10.Pending applications under Mining Act that relate only to coastal waters245

11.Pending applications under Mining Act that relate both to coastal waters and other areas245

12.Powers in relation to transitional provisions246

Notes

Compilation table248

Uncommenced provisions table248

Defined terms

 

Offshore Minerals Act 2003

An Act relating to exploration for, and the recovery of, minerals (other than petroleum) in the first 3 nautical miles of the territorial sea in respect of Western Australia, and for related purposes.

Chapter 1Introduction

Part 1.1Legislative formalities and background

1.Short title

This Act may be cited as the Offshore Minerals Act 2003.

2.Commencement

This Act comes into operation on a day fixed by proclamation.

3.Commonwealth‑State agreement (the Offshore Constitutional Settlement)

(1)The Commonwealth and the States have agreed that — 

(a)Commonwealth offshore mining legislation should be limited to the area that is outside State coastal waters; and

(b)the States should share, in the manner provided by the Offshore Minerals Act 1994 of the Commonwealth, in the administration of the Commonwealth offshore mining legislation; and

(c)State offshore mining legislation should apply to State coastal waters beyond the baseline for the territorial sea (that is, the first 3 nautical miles of the territorial sea); and

(d)the Commonwealth and the States should try to maintain, as far as practicable, common principles, rules and practices in regulating and controlling offshore mining beyond the baseline of Australia’s territorial sea.

Notes for this subsection:

1.So far as the agreement relates to petroleum, it is reflected in this State’s legislation by the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982.

2.Some sections of the Commonwealth Act contain provisions that are not relevant to the operation of this Act. To keep uniformity between this Act and the Commonwealth Act the numbers of the sections that are not relevant up to section 423 have not been used in the numbering of this Act. A section of this Act and the corresponding section of the Commonwealth Act up to section 423 will therefore have the same number. From section 424 onwards the two Acts differ significantly and uniformity of numbering has not been maintained.

(2)Other Acts that provide background in this State to the agreement (commonly referred to as the “Offshore Constitutional Settlement”) are — 

(a)the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973, the Coastal Waters (State Powers) Act 1980, the Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980 and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 of the Commonwealth; and

(b)the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 of this State.

Notes for this subsection:

1.The Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 — 

(a)declares and enacts that the sovereignty in respect of the territorial sea and the associated airspace, seabed and subsoil is vested in and exercisable by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth;

(b)gives the Governor‑General power to declare, by Proclamation, the limits of the territorial sea;

(c)declares and enacts that the sovereignty in respect of waters of the sea that are on the landward side of the baseline of the territorial sea (but not within the limits of a State) and in respect of the associated airspace, seabed and subsoil is vested in and exercisable by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth;

(d)declares and enacts that the sovereign rights of Australia as a coastal State in respect of the Continental Shelf of Australia (for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources) are vested in and exercisable by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth;

(e)gives the Governor‑General power to declare, by Proclamation, the limits of the Continental Shelf of Australia.

2.The Coastal Waters (State Powers) Act 1980 was enacted following a request from the Parliaments of all the States under paragraph 51(xxxviii) of the Constitution of the Commonwealth and provides that the legislative powers exercisable under the Constitution of each State extend to the making of certain laws that would operate offshore.

3.The Coastal Waters (State Title) Act 1980 vests in each State certain property rights in the seabed beneath the coastal waters of the State.

4.The Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 of the Commonwealth and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 of this State make provision, based on the agreement referred to in subsection (1), for the licensing regime that applies to the exploration for and recovery of petroleum in coastal waters and offshore areas of this State.

Part 1.2Interpretation

Division 1 — General

4.Notes in the text

Notes and diagrams in this Act are provided to assist understanding and do not form part of the Act.

5.Interpretation

In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears — 

approved means approved by the Minister under section 41;

associate has the meaning given by section 26(1);

associated agent of an associated contractor has the meaning given by section 26(4);

associated agent of the holder has the meaning given by section 26(3);

associated contractor of the holder has the meaning given by section 26(2);

associated employee of an associated contractor has the meaning given by section 26(6);

associated employee of the holder has the meaning given by section 26(5);

block means a portion of the coastal waters constituted according to section 17;

caveat on a licence means a caveat against — 

(a)the registration of dealings in relation to the licence; or

(b)the registration of a person as a holder of the licence under section 340;

coastal waters has the meaning given by section 16(1) and (2);

Commonwealth Act means the Offshore Minerals Act 1994 of the Commonwealth;

Commonwealth Minister means a Minister of State for the Commonwealth;

compliance inspection has the meaning given by section 377;

confidential information has the meaning given by section 27;

confidential sample has the meaning given by section 28;

consent area means the block or blocks specified in a special purpose consent;

dealing in a licence means a transaction that creates, transfers, affects or otherwise deals with an interest in the licence and includes — 

(a)a transfer of the licence; and

(b)a transfer of a share in the licence,

but does not include a document that comes within section 337(1) other than a document by which a block or a licence is surrendered;

discrete area has the meaning given by section 21;

document file means a document file kept for the purposes of Part 3.1;

exploration has the meaning given by section 23;

holder of a licence has the meaning given by section 25(1);

hydrocarbon means a hydrocarbon whether in a gaseous, liquid or solid state;

inspector means an inspector appointed under section 421;

interest, in relation to a licence, includes — 

(a)an equitable interest in the licence; and

(b)a security interest in the licence;

licence means — 

(a)an exploration licence; or

(b)a retention licence; or

(c)a mining licence; or

(d)a works licence;

licence area means the block or blocks covered by a licence;

licence holder has the meaning given by section 25(1);

mineral has the meaning given by section 22;

offshore exploration or mining activities means — 

(a)the exploration for minerals in coastal waters; or

(b)the recovery of minerals from coastal waters; or

(c)activities carried out in coastal waters under a works licence;

offshore mining register means a register kept for the purposes of Part 3.1;

petroleum means — 

(a)a hydrocarbon or a mixture of hydrocarbons; or

(b)a mixture of one or more hydrocarbons and one or more of the following — 

(i)hydrogen sulphide;

(ii)nitrogen;

(iii)helium;

(iv)carbon dioxide;

primary payment period for the provisional grant or provisional renewal of a licence means the period of 30 days after the day on which the applicant is given a written notice — 

(a)in the case of the grant of an exploration licence, under section 66; and

(b)in the case of the renewal of an exploration licence, under section 110; and

(c)in the case of the grant of a retention licence, under section 147; and

(d)in the case of the renewal of a retention licence, under section 169; and

(e)in the case of the grant of a mining licence, under section 210; and

(f)in the case of the renewal of a mining licence, under section 246; and

(g)in the case of the grant of a works licence, under section 279; and

(h)in the case of the renewal of a works licence, under section 296;

provisional holder means a person who has been provisionally granted a licence;

recovery has the meaning given by section 24;

registered means registered in an offshore mining register;

Registration Fees Act means the Offshore Minerals (Registration Fees) Act 2003;`

reserved block means a block that is declared to be reserved under section 18;

responsible Commonwealth Minister means the Commonwealth Minister who is responsible for the administration of the Commonwealth Act;

sample of the seabed or subsoil includes a core or cutting from the seabed or subsoil;

secondary payment period for the provisional grant or provisional renewal of a licence means the period of 30 days after the day on which an extension of the primary payment period for the grant or renewal concerned ends;

share in a licence has the meaning given by section 6(1), (2) and (3);

special purpose consent means a consent granted under Part 2.6;

standard block has the meaning given by section 19;

State Minister means — 

(a)a Minister of State for a State; or

(b)a Minister of State for the Northern Territory;

successor licence to a licence has the meaning given by section 8;

surrender day for an exploration licence means — 

(a)the day on which the initial term of the licence ends; or

(b)a day on which the term of a renewal of the licence ends;

tender block has the meaning given by section 20;

transfer — 

(a)when used in relation to a licence, has the meaning given by section 7(1); and

(b)when used in relation to a share in a licence, has the meaning given by section 7(2) and (3);

vary a licence condition includes revoke or suspend.

5A.Relationship with Environmental Protection Act 1986

This Act is to be read and construed subject to the Environmental Protection Act 1986, so that if a provision of this Act is inconsistent with a provision of that Act, the provision of this Act is, to the extent of the inconsistency, taken to be inoperative.

6.Shares in a licence

(1)A person has a share in a licence if the person is the holder, or one of the holders, of the licence.

(2)If a holder is entitled to a particular percentage of the value of the rights conferred by a licence, that percentage is the holder’s share in the licence.

Note:

A sole holder has a 100% share in the licence.

(3)If — 

(a)a person is a registered holder of a licence; and

(b)the person is shown in an offshore mining register as being entitled to a specified percentage of the value of the rights conferred by the licence,

the person’s share in the licence is taken to be the percentage specified in the register.

7.Transfer of a licence

(1)For the purposes of this Act, a licence is transferred if — 

(a)the licence has only one holder and the holder transfers the whole of the licensee’s interest in the licence to another person or other persons; or

(b)the licence has 2 or more holders and the holders all transfer the whole of their interests in the licence to another person or other persons.

(2)For the purposes of this Act, a share in a licence is transferred if — 

(a)the licence has only one holder and the holder transfers a part of the holder’s share in the licence to another person or other persons; or

(b)the licence has 2 or more holders and — 

(i)some, but not all, of the holders transfer the whole of their shares in the licence to another person; or

(ii)some or all of the holders transfer a part of their shares in the licence to another person.

(3)The other person referred to in subsection (2)(b) may be an existing licence holder.

8.Successor licences

(1)If — 

(a)a mining licence takes effect immediately after an exploration licence expires; and

(b)the holder of the mining licence immediately after it takes effect was the holder of the exploration licence immediately before it expired,

the mining licence is a successor licence to the exploration licence.

(2)If — 

(a)a retention licence takes effect immediately after an exploration licence expires; and

(b)the holder of the retention licence immediately after it takes effect was the holder of the exploration licence immediately before it expired,

the retention licence is a successor licence to the exploration licence.

(3)If — 

(a)a mining licence takes effect immediately after a retention licence expires; and

(b)the retention licence took effect immediately after an exploration licence expired; and

(c)the holder of the mining licence immediately after it takes effect was the holder of the retention licence immediately before it expired; and

(d)the holder of the retention licence immediately after it took effect was the holder of the exploration licence immediately before it expired,

the mining licence is a successor licence to the exploration licence and the retention licence.

9.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

10.Position on the Earth’s surface

(1)Where, for the purposes of this Act or a subordinate instrument, it is necessary to determine the position on the surface of the Earth of a point, line or area, that position is to be determined by reference to the prescribed Australian datum.

(2)In subsection (1) — 

subordinate instrument means — 

(a)the regulations; or

(b)an instrument under this Act or the regulations.

(3)A datum may be prescribed for all or some of the purposes referred to in subsection (1), and different datums may be prescribed for different purposes.

(4)Regulations that prescribe a datum for a purpose referred to in subsection (1), or amend that datum or prescribe another datum to replace that datum, may make any transitional or savings provisions that are necessary or convenient to be made —

(a)in relation to licences granted before the regulations take effect (including licences referred to in Schedule 2); or

(b)in relation to applications for licences pending when the regulations take effect (including applications referred to in Schedule 2); or

(c)for any other purpose.

(5)Regulations referred to in subsection (4) may modify or otherwise affect the operation of this Act.

11.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

12.Power to vary and revoke instruments

(1)A provision of this Act that confers a power to do something in writing is also taken to confer the power to revoke or amend the written document by which that thing is done.

(2)The power to revoke or amend — 

(a)must also be exercised in writing; and

(b)is subject to the same procedural requirements as the original power; and

(c)is subject to the same conditions as those that governed the exercise of the original power.

Division 2 — Basic concepts

13. – 15.Section numbers not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

16.Coastal waters, and effect of change in baseline

(1)Subject to this section, the coastal waters of the State are so much of the area described in Schedule 1 as is constituted by the first 3 nautical miles of the territorial sea from the baseline.

(2)The coastal waters do not include any waters that are inside the baseline.

(3)If — 

(a)a licence has been granted on the basis that an area is within coastal waters; and

(b)there is a change to the baseline or, because new data is obtained or existing data is reconsidered, the location of the baseline is reassessed; and

(c)as a result of the change to, or reassessment of the location of, the baseline, the area ceases to be within coastal waters,

this Act applies as if the area were still within coastal waters.

(4)Subsection (3) continues to apply to the area only while the licence (and any successor licence) remains in force.

(5)If — 

(a)a licence under the Commonwealth Act has been granted on the basis that an area is within the offshore area under the Commonwealth Act; and

(b)there is a change to the baseline or, because new data is obtained or existing data is reconsidered, the location of the baseline is reassessed; and

(c)as a result of the change to, or reassessment of the location of, the baseline, the area — 

(i)ceases to be within the offshore area under the Commonwealth Act; and

(ii)falls within coastal waters,

this Act does not apply to the area.

(6)Subsection (5) continues to apply to the area only while the licence under the Commonwealth Act (and any successor licence within the meaning in that Act) remains in force.

(7)This Act has effect subject to section 9A of the Mining Act 1978.

(8)In this section — 

baseline means the baseline adjacent to the coast of the State (including the coast of any island forming part of the State) as for the time being determined under section 7(1)(b) of the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973 of the Commonwealth.

Note:

1.Generally the baseline is the lowest astronomical tide along the coast but it also includes lines enclosing bays and indentations that are not bays and straight baselines that depart from the coast. See Australia’s territorial sea baseline published 1988 by the Australian Government Printing Service.


2.The following diagram illustrates the coastal waters of the State — 

17.Blocks

This is how a block is constituted in coastal waters — 

(a)assume that there is laid over the coastal waters a grid constituted by — 

(i)lines running along meridians drawn through each degree of longitude and the minutes between those degrees; and

(ii)lines running along parallels drawn through each degree of latitude and the minutes between those degrees;

(b)take a bounded space defined by the grid;

(c)the seabed and subsoil within the coastal waters that is under that space is a block.

Note:

The following diagram shows how a block is constituted.

Each block is identified by giving the name of the plan in the 1:1 000 000 map series, an identifying number of the 5 minute primary block and a letter identifying the one minute block. The block in the diagram is 72 (e) on the Broome sheet.

18.Reserved block

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may declare that a block in coastal waters is a reserved block.

Note:

1.A reserved block may be put up for tender by the Minister publishing in the Gazette a tender block licence notice (see sections 74 and 218).

2.Section 10(c) of the Interpretation Act 1984 allows a single declaration under this subsection to be made in respect of 2 or more blocks.

(2)A declaration under subsection (1) must not be made in relation to a block if — 

(a)a licence over that block is in force; or

(b)an application for a licence over that block has been made and has not been determined.

(3)A declaration under subsection (1) must be made by notice published in the Gazette.

19.Standard block

A standard block is a block that is not the subject of a declaration under section 18(1).

20.Tender block

A tender block is a block that is the subject of a tender block licence notice published by the Minister under section 74 or section 218.

21.Discrete area

(1)A group of blocks forms a discrete area if the area formed by the blocks is continuous.

(2)Two blocks that are joined at one point only do not form a continuous area.

22.Minerals

(1)A mineral is a naturally occurring substance or a naturally occurring mixture of substances.

Note:

This Act does not apply to petroleum (see section 35).

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), a mineral may be in the form of sand, gravel, clay, limestone, rock, evaporites, shale, oil‑shale or coal.

23.Exploration

(1)For the purposes of this Act, exploration for minerals includes any activity that is directly related to the exploration for minerals.

(2)For the purposes of this Act, exploration does not include the exploration for minerals of the subsoil of coastal waters that is carried out by means of underground mining from land in the State if that exploration is carried out in accordance with the Mining Act 1978.

24.Recovery

(1)For the purposes of this Act, recovery of minerals includes any activity that is directly related to the recovery of minerals.

(2)For the purposes of this Act, recovery does not include the recovery of minerals from the subsoil of coastal waters that is carried out by means of underground mining from land in the State if that exploration is carried out in accordance with the Mining Act 1978.

25.Licence holder

(1)References in this Act to the holder of a licence or the licence holder are references to the person whose name is entered in the offshore mining register as the person who holds the licence.

Note:

1.This Act is based upon the grant and registration of licences.

2.If a licence is granted to a person, that person’s name is entered in the register (see section 333).

3.The entry in the register in relation to a licence will be varied if there is a change in the holder of the licence (see section 338(4)).

(2)A licence may be held by more than one person.

26.Associates

(1)For the purposes of this Act, the following are the associates of a licence holder — 

(a)associated contractors of the holder;

(b)associated agents of the holder;

(c)associated agents of associated contractors;

(d)associated employees of the holder;

(e)associated employees of associated contractors.

(2)A person is an associated contractor of the holder if — 

(a)the person enters into an agreement with the holder for carrying out activities under the licence; or

(b)the person enters into an agreement with a person who is an associated contractor under paragraph (a) or this paragraph for carrying out activities under the licence.

(3)A person is an associated agent of the holder if the person is the agent of, or acts on behalf of, the holder in relation to carrying out activities under the licence.

(4)A person is an associated agent of an associated contractor if the person is the agent of, or acts on behalf of, the associated contractor in relation to carrying out activities under the licence.

(5)A person is an associated employee of the holder if the person is employed by the holder and, in the course of that employment, carries out activities under the licence.

(6)A person is an associated employee of an associated contractor if the person is employed by the associated contractor and, in the course of that employment, carries out activities under the licence.

27.Confidential information

(1)For the purposes of this Act, information is confidential information if — 

(a)a licence holder has given it to the Minister; and

(b)it is in a record, return, report or document; and

(c)it relates to activities authorised by the licence; and

(d)it relates to an area of the seabed or subsoil that is covered by the licence or a successor licence to the licence.

(2)However, if — 

(a)a person is required to give the Minister a report in relation to particular blocks; and

(b)the person gives the Minister a report that relates not only to those blocks but also to other blocks; and

(c)the Minister is required to make the report available under section 376,

the information that relates to those other blocks is not confidential information.

28.Confidential sample

For the purposes of this Act, a sample is a confidential sample if — 

(a)a licence holder has given it to the Minister; and

(b)it was recovered in the course of activities authorised by the licence; and

(c)it was recovered from an area of the seabed or subsoil that is covered by the licence or a successor licence to the licence.

Part 1.3Administration of the Commonwealth‑State offshore area

29.Definitions

In this Part — 

associated revenue Act has the same meaning as in the Commonwealth Act;

Commonwealth‑State offshore area means the Commonwealth‑State offshore area in respect of the State within the meaning of section 13 of the Commonwealth Act.

30.Minister as member of Joint Authority, or as Designated Authority

(1)The Minister may perform any function that the Minister has under the Commonwealth Act or an associated revenue Act — 

(a)as a member of the Joint Authority for the Commonwealth‑State offshore area provided for by section 32(2) of the Commonwealth Act; or

(b)as the Designated Authority for that area provided for by section 29(2) of that Act.

(2)The Minister must perform any such function that the Minister is required to perform by the Commonwealth Act or an associated revenue Act.

31.State officer acting under delegation

A public service officer within the meaning of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 to whom a delegation is made under section 419 of the Commonwealth Act may perform any function that the officer has under that delegation and must perform any such function that the officer is required to perform under the Commonwealth Act.

32. – 34.Section numbers not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

Part 1.4Application of this Act

35.Act does not apply to exploration for or recovery of petroleum

This Act does not apply to the exploration for or recovery of petroleum.

Note:

1.For “petroleum” see section 5.

2.Offshore petroleum exploration and mining are regulated by the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 of the Commonwealth and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 of this State.

36.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

37.Act applies to all individuals and corporations

(1)This Act applies to all individuals, including — 

(a)individuals who are not Australian citizens; and

(b)individuals who are not resident in Western Australia.

(2)This Act applies to all corporations, including — 

(a)corporations that are not taken to be registered under the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth in Western Australia; and

(b)corporations that do not carry on business in Western Australia.

Chapter 2Regulation of offshore exploration and mining

Part 2.1General

38.General prohibition on exploring and mining without appropriate authorisation

A person must not — 

(a)explore for minerals in coastal waters; or

(b)recover minerals from coastal waters,

unless the exploration or recovery is authorised by a licence or special purpose consent granted under this Act.

Maximum penalty: $30 000.

Note:

1.A works licence may be necessary because “exploration” includes activities that are directly related to exploration (see section 23(1)) and “recovery” includes activities that are directly related to recovery (see section 24(1)).

2.Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206, 225 or 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

38A.Exploration and mining in marine reserves and fish habitat protection areas

(1)Nothing in section 13A, 13B or 13C of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 — 

(a)prevents a licence or special purpose consent from being applied for, granted, held or renewed; or

(b)affects the validity or effect of a licence or special purpose consent,

over an area in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area.

(2)Despite sections 206, 225 and 231, a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or marine park, or part of such a reserve or park, may be provisionally granted under those sections — 

(a)only if both Houses of Parliament by resolution consent to the provisional grant; and

(b)on such terms and conditions as are specified in the resolution.

(3)Despite — 

(a)the grant of a licence or special purpose consent; or

(b)any provision of this Act,

offshore exploration or mining activities may be carried out under the licence or consent in a marine nature reserve or marine park only with the written consent of the Minister who may — 

(c)refuse consent; or

(d)give consent subject to such terms and conditions as he or she specifies in the consent.

(4)Before giving consent under subsection (3), whether conditionally or unconditionally, the Minister must — 

(a)consult, and obtain the concurrence of, the conservation Minister; and

(b)consult and obtain the recommendations of the fisheries Minister and the marine Minister.

(5)Despite — 

(a)the grant of a licence or special purpose consent; or

(b)any provision of this Act,

offshore exploration or mining activities may be carried out under the licence or consent in a marine management area only with the written consent of the Minister who may — 

(c)refuse consent; or

(d)give consent subject to such terms and conditions as he or she specifies in the consent.

(6)Before giving consent under subsection (5), whether conditionally or unconditionally, the Minister must consult and obtain the recommendations of the conservation Minister, the fisheries Minister and the marine Minister.

(7)Nothing in this Act authorises, or enables the Minister to authorise or consent to, the disturbance of — 

(a)the seabed; or

(b)subsoil below the seabed to a depth of 200 metres,

in a marine nature reserve or a restricted area in respect of which a licence or special purpose consent is in force.

(8)Subsection (7) applies only if the marine nature reserve or restricted area was in existence when the licence or special purpose consent was granted.

(9)Despite — 

(a)the grant of a licence or special purpose consent; or

(b)any provision of this Act,

offshore exploration or mining activities may be carried out under the licence or consent in a fish habitat protection area only with the written consent of the Minister who may — 

(c)refuse consent; or

(d)give consent subject to such terms and conditions as he or she specifies in the consent.

(10)Before giving consent under subsection (5), whether conditionally or unconditionally, the Minister must consult and obtain the recommendations of the fisheries Minister and the marine Minister.

(11)In this section — 

conservation Minister means the Minister for the time being administering the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984;

fish habitat protection area has the meaning given to it by the Fish Resources Management Act 1994;

fisheries Minister means the Minister for the time being administering the Fish Resources Management Act 1994;

marine management area, marine nature reserve and marine park have the meanings given to them by the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984;

marine Minister means the Minister for the time being administering the Marine and Harbours Act 1981;

restricted area means any area of a marine park which is classified by notice under section 62 of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 as — 

(a)a sanctuary area; or

(b)a recreation area; or

(c)a special purpose area which, or that part of such an area which, the conservation Minister has declared in the classification notice to be an area where disturbance of the seabed or subsoil would be incompatible with a conservation purpose specified in the classification notice.

38B.Consultation with other Ministers

Before granting a licence or special purpose consent, the Minister must consult and obtain the recommendations of —

(a)the Minister for the time being administering the Environmental Protection Act 1986; and

(b)the Minister for the time being administering the Fish Resources Management Act 1994; and

(c)the Minister for the time being administering the Land Administration Act 1997; and

(d)the Minister for the time being administering the Marine and Harbours Act 1981; and

(e)the Minister for the time being administering the Pearling Act 1990.

39.Licences and consents available under this Act

This Act provides for the grant of — 

(a)exploration licences (see Part 2.2); and

(b)retention licences (see Part 2.3); and

(c)mining licences (see Part 2.4); and

(d)works licences (see Part 2.5); and

(e)special purpose consents (see Part 2.6).

Note:

1.An exploration licence is designed to cover the exploration phase of a project and authorises — 

(a)exploration; and

(b)the recovery of mineral samples.

2.A retention licence is designed to ensure the retention of rights pending the transition of a project from the exploration phase to the commercial mining phase and authorises — 

(a)exploration; and

(b)the recovery of minerals but not as part of a commercial mining operation.

3.A mining licence is designed to cover the commercial mining phase of a project and authorises — 

(a)exploration; and

(b)full commercial recovery.

4.A project might make use of any of the following 3 licence arrangements — 

(a)an exploration licence leading to a mining licence;

(b)an exploration licence leading to a retention licence and then a mining licence;

(c)a mining licence (without progressing through an exploration/retention licence stage).

5.A licence is granted over a particular area (constituted by blocks). The licence holder may need to carry out engineering or other activities outside the licence area. If so, the licence holder or someone else must obtain a works licence to carry out those activities.

6.If a person wants to carry out — 

(a)a scientific investigation; or

(b)a reconnaissance survey; or

(c)the collection of only small amounts of minerals,

in coastal waters, the person must obtain a special purpose consent under Part 2.6 to carry out the activity.

7.Even though a person has a licence or special purpose consent, the person must not interfere unnecessarily with navigation, native title, fishing, resource conservation or other activities in the area (see section 44).

40.Steps involved in the grant of a fully effective licence

(1)The following 3 steps must occur before a licence comes into force — 

(a)provisional grant of the licence;

(b)proper acceptance of the grant;

(c)registration of the grant.

Note:

1.See sections 88, 154, 232 and 286.

2.Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206, 225 or 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

(2)If a licence is provisionally granted to a person, the person must do the following to properly accept the grant — 

(a)give the Minister a written acceptance;

(b)lodge any security that the Minister has required;

(c)pay the fee that is payable under section 425.

Note:

See sections 70, 84, 151, 214, 228 and 283.

(3)The following 3 steps must occur before a renewal of a licence comes into force — 

(a)provisional renewal of the licence;

(b)proper acceptance of the renewal;

(c)registration of the renewal.

Note:

See sections 89, 155, 233 and 287.

(4)If a licence is provisionally renewed, the holder must do the following to properly accept the renewal — 

(a)give the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal;

(b)lodge any security that the Minister has required;

(c)pay the fee that is payable under section 425.

Note:

See sections 114, 173, 250 and 300.

41.Approval of form and manner of applications etc.

(1)The Minister may approve the form and the manner in which the following are to be made — 

(a)applications for licences over blocks in coastal waters;

(b)applications for the renewal of licences over blocks in coastal waters.

(2)An approval under subsection (1) is to be made in writing.

42.Rights to minerals recovered

(1)Any minerals recovered by a licence holder or special purpose consent holder from a block covered by the licence or consent become the property of the holder when they are recovered.

(2)If the licence or consent authorises the exploration for and the recovery of minerals only of a particular kind, subsection (1) only applies to the recovery of minerals of that kind.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply to the recovery of minerals by a works licence holder.

(4)The minerals recovered are not subject to the rights of any other person.

(5)Subsection (4) does not apply to rights that the licence or consent holder transfers to the other person.

43.Effect of grant of licence or special purpose consent on native title

(1)The grant of a licence or special purpose consent does not extinguish native title in the licence or consent area.

(2)While a licence or special purpose consent is in force over an area, native title in the area is subject to the rights conferred by the licence or consent.

(3)If compensation is payable to native title holders for or in respect of the grant of a licence or special purpose consent, the person liable to pay the compensation is — 

(a)if an amount is to be paid and held in trust, the applicant for the grant of, or the holder of, the licence or consent at the time the amount is required to be paid; or

(b)otherwise, the applicant for the grant of, or the holder of, the licence or consent at the time a determination of compensation is made.

(4)If, at the relevant time, there is no holder of the licence or consent because the licence or consent has been surrendered or forfeited or has expired, a reference in subsection (3) to the holder of the licence or consent is a reference to the holder of the licence or consent immediately before its surrender, forfeiture or expiry.

(5)In subsection (3) — 

grant includes renewal.

(6)Expressions relating to native title have the same meanings in this section and section 44 as they have in the Native Title Act 1993 of the Commonwealth.

44.Licence etc. does not authorise unnecessary interference with other activities in the licence area

(1)A person who carries out activities in coastal waters under a licence or special purpose consent granted under this Act must not do so in a way that interferes with — 

(a)navigation; or

(b)the exercise of native title rights and interests; or

(c)fishing, pearling or aquaculture; or

(d)the conservation of the resources of the sea or the seabed; or

(e)any activities that someone else is lawfully carrying out,

to a greater extent than is necessary for — 

(f)the reasonable exercise of the person’s rights under the licence or consent; or

(g)the performance of the person’s duties under the licence or consent.

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

Note:

The person referred to here might be the licence holder or consent holder or might be an associated person.

(2)In subsection (1)(1)(c) —

aquaculture and fishing have the same meanings as they have in the Fish Resources Management Act 1994;

pearling has the same meaning as it has in the Pearling Act 1990.

Part 2.2Exploration licences

Division 1 — General

45.Exploration licences

(1)This Part provides for the grant of exploration licences over blocks in coastal waters.

(2)An exploration licence may be granted over a standard block (see Division 2) or over a tender block (see Division 3).

Note:

A tender block is a block that has been declared available for tender. A standard block is any block that is not a reserved block (see sections 19 and 20).

46.Activities authorised by an exploration licence

(1)Subject to subsection (2), an exploration licence holder may — 

(a)explore for minerals in the licence area; and

(b)take samples of minerals in the licence area.

Note:

1.Under section 23(1) the concept of “exploration” extends to activities that are directly related to exploration.

2.Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

(2)If the licence is expressed to restrict the kind of minerals covered by the licence, the holder is not permitted to explore for, or to take samples of, minerals not covered by the licence.

(3)A restriction on the kind of minerals covered by the licence may be inclusive (for example, only minerals A, B and C) or exclusive (for example, all minerals except A, B and C).

(4)For the purposes of subsection (2), the holder does not take samples of an excluded mineral if, in the course of exploring for, or taking samples of, another mineral, the holder recovers some excluded mineral.

47.Minister may cancel or not renew exploration licence without compensation

No compensation is payable because of the cancellation or non‑renewal of an exploration licence by the Minister.

Note:

1.The Minister may cancel the licence under section 130.

2.The Minister may refuse under section 108 to renew the licence.

48.Licence rights may be suspended

(1)The Minister must suspend particular rights conferred by an exploration licence if the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

(2)The Minister may suspend rights under subsection (1) for a specified period or for an indefinite period.

(3)The Minister may end a suspension at any time.

(4)A suspension or the ending of a suspension must be in writing.

(5)If the Minister — 

(a)suspends rights conferred by an exploration licence; or

(b)ends a suspension,

the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the suspension or the ending of the suspension.

Note:

See section 122 for the effect of the suspension on the obligations associated with the licence.

(6)A suspension takes effect when — 

(a)the holder has been given notice of the suspension under subsection (5); and

(b)the suspension has been registered under section 337.

49.Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights

(1)If — 

(a)the Minister suspends licence rights under section 48; and

(b)the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

(c)the State and the person agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition,

the State must pay the person the agreed amount of compensation.

(2)If — 

(a)the Minister suspends licence rights under section 48; and

(b)the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

(c)the State and the person do not agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition; and

(d)the person brings an action for compensation against the State in the Supreme Court,

the State must pay the person the amount of compensation (if any) that is determined by that court.

(3)In this section — 

acquisition of property has the same meaning as it has in section 51(xxxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution.

Division 2 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over standard blocks

50.Application for exploration licence over standard block

(1)A person may apply to the Minister for an exploration licence over a standard block if — 

(a)the block is vacant; and

(b)the block is not excluded.

Note:

For “excluded blocks” see section 51.

(2)A standard block is vacant if no exploration, retention or mining licence is in force over the block.

(3)A person may apply for an exploration licence over a group of standard blocks if — 

(a)the group forms a discrete area; and

(b)there are not more than 500 blocks in the group.

Note:

The Minister may, in certain circumstances, allow an application to be made for an exploration licence covering up to 3 discrete areas (see section 53).

51.Excluded blocks

(1)A block is excluded if — 

(a)an exploration licence over the block has been surrendered or cancelled; and

(b)a period of 30 days after the day on which the licence was surrendered or cancelled has not ended.

(2)A block is excluded for a particular applicant if — 

(a)the applicant previously applied for an exploration licence over the block; and

(b)the application was refused; and

(c)a period of 6 months after the day on which the previous application was refused has not ended.

(3)A block is excluded for a particular applicant if — 

(a)the applicant was previously the holder of an exploration, retention or mining licence over the block; and

(b)that previous licence was surrendered or cancelled; and

(c)a period of 6 months after the day on which the previous licence was surrendered or cancelled has not ended.

(4)A block is excluded for a particular applicant if — 

(a)the applicant was previously the holder of an exploration, retention or mining licence over the block; and

(b)the holder was — 

(i)required by the licence conditions; or

(ii)given a direction under section 387 or 392,

to provide the Minister with information; and

(c)the holder provided the information; and

(d)the holder surrendered the licence; and

(e)a period of 6 months from the day on which the holder provided the information has not ended.

52.Minister may determine that excluded block is available

(1)A person who wants to apply for an exploration licence over a block that is excluded may apply to the Minister for a determination under subsection (2).

(2)The Minister may determine that the person may apply for the licence over the block despite section 51.

(3)The determination is to be made in writing.

53.Minister may allow application for more than one discrete area

(1)If — 

(a)a person (the first applicant) applies for an exploration licence; and

(b)another person (the second applicant) subsequently applies for an exploration licence for a group of blocks that includes a block covered by the application made by the first applicant; and

(c)an exploration licence is then granted to the first applicant; and

(d)as a result of the grant, the blocks for which the second applicant can be granted an exploration licence no longer form a discrete area,

the second applicant may apply to the Minister for approval for the application to proceed even though the blocks it covers no longer form a discrete area.

Note:

See also section 59.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), the Minister may approve the application proceeding even though the blocks that the application covers do not form a discrete area.

(3)The Minister may give an approval under subsection (2) only if the blocks covered by the application form not more than 3 discrete areas.

54.How to apply

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)specify the blocks for which the application is made; and

(d)include details of — 

(i)the activities that the applicant intends to carry out on the block or blocks covered by the application; and

(ii)the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on those activities; and

(iii)the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

(iv)the technical advice available to the applicant; and

(v)the financial resources available to the applicant; and

(vi)if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share in the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

and

(e)be accompanied by maps that — 

(i)relate to the blocks; and

(ii)comply with the regulations;

and

(f)specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:

1.For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

2.Paragraph (c): the Minister may, after consulting the applicant, vary the blocks applied for (see section 59).

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

55.Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application

If — 

(a)a person applies for a licence over a group of standard blocks; and

(b)because of section 18, 50 or 51 an exploration licence cannot be granted over one or more of the blocks in the group,

the Minister may still deal with the application to the extent to which the application covers blocks for which an exploration licence can be granted.

Note:

An exploration licence cannot be granted over a block that is not vacant or is excluded (see sections 50 and 51) or over a reserved block (see section 18).

56.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

57.Application must be advertised

(1)The applicant must advertise the application in a newspaper circulating throughout the State.

(2)The advertisement must contain — 

(a)the applicant’s name and address; and

(b)a map and description of the blocks applied for that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

(c)the address of the Minister; and

(d)a statement that — 

(i)advises that the applicant has applied for an exploration licence over the blocks described in the notice; and

(ii)invites comment from the public on the application; and

(iii)requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

(3)The advertisement must be published — 

(a)as soon as possible after the applicant makes the application; and

(b)in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the day on which the applicant makes the application.

(4)If — 

(a)the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

(b)the Minister extends the period,

the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

58.How multiple applications are dealt with

(1)Subject to subsection (2), if a block is covered by 2 or more applications for an exploration or mining licence, the Minister must deal with the applications in the order in which they are made.

Note:

See also section 203.

(2)If — 

(a)the applications are lodged within a particular time of each other; and

(b)the time is less than the time prescribed by the regulations,

the Minister must determine the order in which the applications are to be dealt with by drawing lots in the way prescribed by the regulations.

59.Discussions about blocks applied for

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant to discuss with the Minister the blocks covered by the application.

(2)The request under subsection (1) must be — 

(a)made in writing; and

(b)given to the applicant.

(3)If, after discussions, the Minister and the applicant agree on the blocks to be covered by the application, the applicant is taken to have applied for an exploration licence over the blocks agreed on.

(4)The Minister must give the applicant written confirmation of the agreement as soon as possible after the agreement is reached.

(5)The Minister may include in the written confirmation a direction that the applicant must advertise the revised application under section 60.

(6)If the Minister and the applicant do not agree on the blocks to be covered by the application — 

(a)the Minister may make a written determination specifying the blocks to be covered by the application; and

(b)the applicant is taken to have applied for an exploration licence over the blocks specified in the determination.

(7)The Minister may include in the written determination a direction that the applicant must advertise the revised application under section 60.

(8)If the Minister makes a determination under subsection (6), the Minister must give a copy of the determination to the applicant as soon as possible after the determination is made.

60.Advertising revised application

(1)If — 

(a)the application has been revised under section 59; and

(b)the applicant has been given a direction under section 59(5) or (7),

the applicant must advertise the revised application in a newspaper circulating throughout the State.

(2)The advertisement must contain — 

(a)the applicant’s name and address; and

(b)a map and description of the blocks covered by the revised application that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

(c)the address of the Minister; and

(d)a statement that — 

(i)advises that the applicant has applied for an exploration licence over the blocks described in the notice; and

(ii)invites comment from the public on the application; and

(iii)requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

(3)The advertisement must be published — 

(a)if the Minister and the applicant agree on the blocks applied for under section 59(3), as soon as possible after the applicant is given written confirmation of the agreement under section 59(4); or

(b)if the Minister makes a determination of the blocks applied for under section 59(6), as soon as possible after the applicant is given a copy of the determination under section 59(8),

but in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the applicant is given the confirmation or copy.

(4)If — 

(a)the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

(b)the Minister extends the period,

the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

61.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

62.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

63.Minister may provisionally grant licence

If the applicant does what is required by sections 54 to 61, the Minister may — 

(a)provisionally grant an exploration licence to the applicant; or

(b)refuse the application.

Note:

Under section 88, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration). The grant will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 70 for “proper acceptance”).

64.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

65.Matters to be specified in the licence

The licence must specify — 

(a)the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)the term of the licence; and

(c)the licence conditions.

Note:

For the term of a licence see section 88.

66.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of a decision under section 63.

(2)If the Minister provisionally grants an exploration licence — 

(a)the Minister must give the licence to the provisional holder; and

(b)the notice under subsection (1) must contain the following information — 

(i)notification of any determination under section 399 that the provisional holder must lodge a security;

(ii)notification that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(I)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(II)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(III)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

67.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the provisional holder is dissatisfied with a licence condition, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given the licence under section 66.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the provisional holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of a decision under this section.

68.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the provisional holder — 

(a)is notified of a security requirement; and

(b)is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

the provisional holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 66.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of the new determination.

69.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the provisional holder makes a request under section 67 or 68, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 66.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the provisional holder a written notice of the period of the extension.

70.Acceptance of grant of exploration licence for standard block

(1)The provisional grant of the exploration licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, before the required time, the provisional holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 69, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 88, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

71.Conditions applicable to licence on grant

If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted under section 70, it is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the licence given to the applicant under section 66; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 67, those conditions as amended.

72.Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence

If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 70, the provisional grant lapses.

Division 3 — Application for and grant of exploration licence over tender block

73.Matters to be determined before applications for exploration licence over tender blocks invited

If the Minister proposes to invite applications for the grant of an exploration licence over reserved blocks, the Minister must, before inviting the applications, determine — 

(a)the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

(b)the amount of security that will be required for the licence under section 399; and

(c)the licence conditions.

74.Minister may invite applications for exploration licence over tender blocks

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may invite applications for the grant of an exploration licence over reserved blocks.

(2)Applications may be invited for a licence covering a group of reserved blocks only if the group forms a discrete area.

(3)The Minister is to invite applications by publishing a tender block licence notice for the licence in the Gazette.

75.Tender block licence notice — exploration licence

(1)A tender block licence notice for an exploration licence must —

(a)specify the blocks to be covered by the licence; and

(b)specify the period within which applications may be made; and

(c)specify the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

(d)specify the amount of security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

(e)include a statement to the effect that information about — 

(i)the security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

(ii)the licence conditions,

may be obtained from the Minister.

(2)Without limiting paragraph (c) of subsection (1), the Minister may for the purposes of that paragraph specify that the tender will be determined on the basis of either or both of the following — 

(a)the nature and extent of the exploration activity proposed to be carried out;

(b)the amount of money offered for the licence.

(3)The tender block licence notice may specify not more than 500 blocks for the exploration licence.

76.Application for exploration licence over tender blocks

If a tender block licence notice has been published inviting applications for an exploration licence, a person may apply to the Minister for the licence.

77.How to apply

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)be made before the end of the period specified in the tender block licence notice; and

(d)address the criteria specified under section 75(1)(c); and

(e)include details of — 

(i)the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

(ii)the technical advice available to the applicant; and

(iii)the financial resources available to the applicant; and

(iv)if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share in the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

and

(f)specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:\

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

78.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

79.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

80.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

81.Minister may provisionally grant licence

(1)The Minister may provisionally grant an exploration licence to an applicant who has done what is required by sections 77 to 79.

(2)When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 74.

(3)If the Minister refuses to grant a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the applicant written notice of the refusal.

82.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

83.Successful applicant must be notified

(1)If the Minister provisionally grants an exploration licence under section 81 or 87, the Minister must give the provisional holder — 

(a)the licence; and

(b)written notice that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, within 30 days after the day on which the notice is given — 

(i)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(ii)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(iii)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

(iv)if the tender is determined on the basis of the amounts of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 77(1)(d).

(2)The licence must specify — 

(a)the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)the term of the licence; and

(c)the licence conditions.

Note:

For the term of a licence see section 88.

84.Acceptance of grant of exploration licence over tender blocks

The provisional grant of an exploration licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 83, the provisional holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

(d)if the tender is determined on the basis of the amount of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 77(1)(d).

Note:

Under section 88, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

85.Conditions applicable to licence on grant

If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted, the licence is subject to the conditions determined under section 73.

86.Lapse of provisional grant of exploration licence

If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 84, the provisional grant lapses.

87.Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses

(1)If the provisional grant of the licence lapses under section 86, the Minister may provisionally grant the licence to another of the applicants for the licence.

(2)When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 74.

Division 4 — Duration of exploration licence

88.Initial term of exploration licence

(1)An exploration licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the grant of the licence is registered; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the grant of the licence is registered is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

(2)The initial term of an exploration licence ends — 

(a)4 years after the day on which the licence is provisionally granted; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the licence is provisionally granted is specified in the licence as its commencement day, 4 years after that specified day.

Note:

The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 127).

89.Term of renewal of exploration licence

(1)A renewal of an exploration licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the renewal is registered; or

(b)the day on which the previous term of the licence expires,

whichever is the later.

Note:

See Division 6 for renewal.

(2)The term of a renewal of a licence ends 2 years after the day on which the previous term of the licence expires.

Note:

The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 127).

(3)In working out the previous term of the licence, section 90 is to be disregarded.

(4)An exploration licence is not to be renewed more than 3 times.

90.Effect of suspension of rights on term of exploration licence

(1)If the Minister suspends rights conferred by an exploration licence for a specified period under section 48, the Minister may extend the term of the licence.

(2)An extension of a licence term under subsection (1) — 

(a)must not be for a period that is longer than the period for which the licence rights were suspended; and

(b)must be in writing.

(3)If the Minister extends the term of a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder — 

(a)that the licence has been extended; and

(b)of the period of the extension.

91.Effect of application for renewal on term of exploration licence

If — 

(a)an exploration licence holder applies to renew the licence under section 101; and

(b)the current term of the licence expires; and

(c)a renewal of the licence does not take effect immediately after the current term expires,

the licence remains in force after the current term expires until — 

(d)a renewal of the licence takes effect; or

(e)a provisional renewal of the licence lapses; or

(f)the application for renewal is withdrawn or refused.

92.Effect of application for retention licence or mining licence on term of exploration licence

If — 

(a)an exploration licence holder applies for — 

(i)a retention licence (see section 137); or

(ii)a mining licence (see section 198),

over the licence area, or part of the licence area, of the exploration licence; and

(b)the current term of the exploration licence expires; and

(c)a grant of the retention licence or mining licence does not take effect before the current term of the exploration licence expires,

the exploration licence remains in force until — 

(d)the grant of the retention licence or mining licence takes effect; or

(e)a provisional grant of the retention licence or mining licence lapses; or

(f)the application for the retention licence or mining licence is withdrawn or refused.

93.Effect of application for extension on term of licence

If — 

(a)an exploration licence holder applies for an extension of the term of the licence under section 94 or 96; and

(b)the holder has also applied to renew the licence under section 101; and

(c)the extension application is not decided before the licence is due to expire,

then — 

(d)the renewal application lapses; and

(e)the licence remains in force until — 

(i)if the Minister extends the term of the licence under section 95 or 97 for a specified period, 30 days after the day on which that period ends; or

(ii)if the Minister refuses to extend the term of the licence under section 95 or 97, 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice of the refusal under section 98.

94.Extension of licence — activities disrupted

(1)If — 

(a)an exploration licence authorises the licence holder to carry out an activity; and

(b)circumstances beyond the control of the holder prevent the holder from carrying out the activity,

the holder may apply to the Minister for an extension of the term of the licence.

(2)The application must be made — 

(a)within 30 days after the day on which the holder first became aware of the circumstances; and

(b)before the licence expires.

95.Grant of licence extension — activities disrupted

(1)Subject to subsection (2), if an exploration licence holder applies for an extension under section 94, the Minister — 

(a)must grant an extension of the term of the licence if the Minister is satisfied that — 

(i)the holder is or has been unable to carry out the activities authorised by the licence; and

(ii)the holder is or has been unable to do so because of circumstances beyond the holder’s control; and

(iii)no excluded time is included in the period of inability for which an extension is sought;

and

(b)must refuse the application for extension if the Minister is not satisfied of the matters referred to in paragraph (a).

(2)The period for which the extension is granted must not be longer than the disruption period for the licence less any excluded time for the licence.

(3)The extension may be granted subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)In this section — 

disruption period for a licence means the period during which the licence holder is unable to carry out activities authorised by the licence because of circumstances beyond the holder’s control;

excluded time for a licence means any period during which the licence was in force because of section 90, 91, 92 or 93.

Note:

Under section 90, if the Minister has under section 48 suspended rights under a licence for a period, the Minister may extend the term of the licence for an equivalent period. Under section 91, the term of a licence is automatically extended if there is an application for the renewal of a licence undecided when the licence is due to expire. Under section 92, the term of a licence is automatically extended if the holder applies for a retention or mining licence over the licence area. Under section 93, the term of a licence is automatically extended if there is an application for an extension of the licence undecided when the licence is due to expire.

96.Extension of licence — other circumstances

(1)An exploration licence holder may apply to the Minister for an extension of the term of the licence if, under section 121, the Minister — 

(a)suspends a licence condition; or

(b)exempts the holder from complying with a licence condition.

(2)The application must be made not later than 30 days before the licence expires.

97.Grant of licence extension — other circumstances

(1)Subject to subsection (2), if an exploration licence holder applies for an extension under section 96, the Minister — 

(a)may grant an extension of the term of the licence; or

(b)may refuse to grant an extension of the term of the licence.

(2)The extension must not be for a period that is longer than the period of the suspension or exemption.

(3)The extension may be granted subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

98.Notification of decision

(1)If the Minister grants an extension of the term of the exploration licence under section 95 or 97, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of — 

(a)the grant of extension; and

(b)the period of the extension; and

(c)if the extension is subject to conditions, the conditions.

(2)If the Minister refuses an application for a licence extension, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of — 

(a)the refusal; and

(b)the reasons for the refusal.

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of exploration licence area

99.Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains

(1)An exploration licence holder may surrender a block or some of the blocks covered by the licence if the remaining blocks in the licence area form a discrete area.

Note:

See section 127 for the surrender of the whole licence.

(2)A surrender under subsection (1) must — 

(a)be made in writing; and

(b)identify the blocks surrendered; and

(c)be given to the Minister.

Note:

The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

100.Voluntary surrender of blocks if up to 3 discrete areas remain

(1)If — 

(a)an exploration licence holder wants to surrender some of the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)the blocks remaining in the licence area after the proposed surrender would form not more than 3 discrete areas,

the holder may apply to the Minister for approval of the proposed surrender.

(2)The application — 

(a)must be in writing; and

(b)must include a surrender proposal that identifies the blocks in the licence area that the holder proposes to surrender; and

(c)may include any other information that the holder thinks is relevant.

(3)If the Minister agrees with the surrender proposal, the Minister may approve the surrender of the blocks specified in the proposal by giving the holder written notice of the approval.

Note:

The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

(4)If the Minister does not agree with the surrender proposal, the Minister may ask the holder to discuss the proposal.

(5)If the Minister and the holder agree, after discussions, on the blocks to be surrendered the Minister may approve the surrender of the blocks agreed on by giving the holder written confirmation of the agreement.

Note:

The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

(6)If, after discussions, the Minister and the holder do not agree on the surrender proposal, no blocks are surrendered.

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of exploration licence

101.Application for renewal of exploration licence

An exploration licence holder may apply to the Minister to renew the licence.

Note:

1.Part of the licence area must be surrendered on each renewal (see section 104).

2.At each renewal, the licence conditions are reviewed (see section 118).

102.When application to be made

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the application must be made at least 30 days before the day on which the licence is to expire.

Note:

If an application for extension of a licence is made, the expiry of the licence is postponed (see section 93). For expiry of a licence see section 126.

(2)The Minister may accept an application that is made later than 30 days before the day on which the licence is to expire if — 

(a)the application is made before the day on which the licence expires; and

(b)the Minister believes that there are reasonable grounds for accepting the application.

(3)If a licence remains in force because of section 93(e)(ii), the application may be made at any time before the licence ceases to be in force.

103.How to apply for renewal

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)include details of — 

(i)the activities carried out by the applicant under the licence during its current term; and

(ii)the amount of money spent by the applicant in relation to the blocks covered by the licence during its current term; and

(iii)the activities that the applicant intends to carry out under the licence during the term applied for; and

(iv)the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on those activities during the term applied for;

and

(d)specify the blocks that the applicant nominates for surrender in accordance with section 104.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

104.Mandatory reduction of licence area on renewal of exploration licence

(1)This section deals with the mandatory reduction of the licence area covered by an exploration licence when the licence is renewed.

(2)Subject to subsection (4)(b), on each surrender day of an exploration licence, the licence holder must surrender — 

(a)50% of the number of blocks in the licence area; or

(b)if 50% of that number of the blocks is a whole number and a fraction, the next higher whole number of the blocks.

(3) Subject to subsection (4)(a), the blocks that remain in the licence area after a surrender under subsection (2) must form a discrete area.

(4)The Minister may — 

(a)give permission for the surrender of blocks in a licence area if the licence area remaining after the proposed surrender would consist of not more than 3 discrete areas; or

(b)give permission for a licence area to be reduced by less than 50% if the Minister considers that there are special circumstances present in relation to the renewal application.

105.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant to provide further information about the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

106.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

107.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

108.Provisional renewal of an exploration licence

(1)The Minister must provisionally renew an exploration licence if the applicant — 

(a)does what is required by sections 101 to 106; and

(b)has complied with — 

(i)this Act; and

(ii)the regulations; and

(iii)the licence conditions.

Note:

1.Under section 89, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration). The renewal will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 114 for “proper acceptance”).

2.Under section 118, new conditions may be imposed on renewal.

(2)If subsection (1) does not require the Minister to provisionally renew the licence, the Minister may — 

(a)provisionally renew the licence; or

(b)refuse to renew the licence.

109.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

110.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 108.

(2)If the Minister provisionally renews the exploration licence under section 108, the notice must contain the following information — 

(a)notification of the conditions of the renewed licence;

(b)notification of any determination under section 399 that the applicant must lodge a security or a further security;

(c)notification that the provisional renewal will lapse unless the applicant, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(i)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(ii)lodges any security required by the Minister under section 399; and

(iii)pays the fees that must be paid under section 425.

Note:

Section 118 provides for renewals to be granted subject to conditions.

111.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 108; and

(b)is notified of the licence conditions; and

(c)is dissatisfied with a condition,

the holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 110.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence conditions and, with the consent of the holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of a decision under this section.

112.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 108; and

(b)is notified of a security requirement; and

(c)is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

the holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 110.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of the new determination.

113.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the licence holder makes a request under section 111 or 112, the holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 110.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the holder a written notice informing the holder of the period of the extension.

114.Acceptance of renewal of exploration licence

(1)The provisional renewal of an exploration licence is properly accepted by the licence holder if, before the required time, the holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the licence holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 113, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 89, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration).

115.Conditions applicable to licence on renewal

If the provisional renewal is properly accepted under section 114, the renewed licence is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the notice given to the licence holder under section 110; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 111, those conditions as amended.

116.Lapse of provisional renewal of exploration licence

If the provisional renewal of an exploration licence is not properly accepted under section 114, the provisional renewal lapses.

Division 7 — Obligations associated with exploration licence

117.General

(1)The sources of obligations associated with an exploration licence are — 

(a)the licence conditions; and

(b)obligations arising from directions under section 387 or 392 given by the Minister; and

(c)obligations imposed by this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraph (a) see sections 118 to 120. For paragraph (c) see sections 44, 123 to 125, 372 and 391(1).

(2)If an exploration licence has 2 or more holders, all the holders are jointly and severally bound by the obligations that attach to the licence.

118.Conditions of exploration licence

(1)The Minister may grant or renew an exploration licence subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(2)If the Minister grants or renews an exploration licence subject to conditions, the conditions must be specified in the licence.

(3)Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may attach the following kinds of conditions to the grant or renewal of an exploration licence — 

(a)a condition requiring the licence holder to take out insurance as required by the Minister;

(b)a condition requiring the holder to carry out certain work in or in relation to the licence area during the term of the licence;

(c)a condition requiring the holder to spend a specified amount of money in carrying out the work referred to in paragraph (b);

(d)a condition requiring the holder to lodge a security with the Minister;

(e)a condition requiring the holder to keep specified information;

(f)a condition requiring the holder to give the Minister, on request, specified information;

(g)a condition requiring the holder to take steps to protect the environment of the licence area, including conditions relating to — 

(i)protecting wildlife; or

(ii)minimising the effect on the environment of the licence area and the area surrounding the licence area of activities carried out in the licence area;

(h)a condition requiring the holder to repair any damage to the environment caused by activities in the licence area;

(i)a condition requiring the holder to pay a specified penalty to the State if the holder does not comply with a licence condition.

(4)A condition under subsection (3)(d) must specify — 

(a)the amount of the security required; and

(b)the kind of security required; and

(c)the manner and form in which the security is to be lodged.

(5)Without limiting paragraph (d) of subsection (3), a condition under that paragraph may require the lodgment of a security in the form of a guarantee and if a guarantee is required the condition may specify — 

(a)the kind of person who is to give the guarantee; and

(b)the terms of the guarantee.

119.No conditions requiring payment of money

Except for a condition requiring the payment of a penalty or lodgment of security, a licence condition must not require the payment of money to the State.

120.Variation of conditions

(1)If — 

(a)an exploration licence holder requests the Minister in writing to vary a licence condition; or

(b)an exploration licence continues in force because of section 93; or

(c)an extension of the term of an exploration licence is granted under section 95; or

(d)part of the licence area of an exploration licence is surrendered under section 99 or 100,

the Minister may vary a licence condition.

(2)If the Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to an exploration licence holder, the Minister may vary a licence condition to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may vary a licence condition subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister varies a licence condition, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that — 

(a)informs the holder of the variation; and

(b)specifies the conditions which have been varied; and

(c)specifies any conditions to which the variation is subject.

121.Exemption from or suspension of conditions

(1)If — 

(a)an exploration licence holder requests the Minister in writing to — 

(i)suspend a licence condition; or

(ii)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition;

or

(b)an exploration licence continues in force because of section 93; or

(c)an extension of the term of an exploration licence is granted under section 95; or

(d)part of the licence area of an exploration licence is surrendered under section 99 or 100,

the Minister may — 

(e)suspend a licence condition; or

(f)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition.

(2)If the Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to an exploration licence holder, the Minister may suspend a licence condition, or exempt the holder from compliance with a licence condition, to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may — 

(a)suspend a licence condition; or

(b)exempt the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister — 

(a)suspends a licence condition; or

(b)exempts the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

the Minister must give the holder a written notice that — 

(c)informs the holder of the exemption or suspension; and

(d)specifies the conditions which have been suspended or affected by the exemption; and

(e)specifies any conditions to which the suspension or exemption is subject.

Note: A suspension or exemption of a condition cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 337).

122.Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended

If — 

(a)the Minister suspends particular rights conferred by an exploration licence under section 48; and

(b)a licence condition is affected by the suspension,

the licence condition is suspended for the period of the suspension of the rights.

123.Work practices

A person who is an exploration licence holder or an associate of the holder, in carrying out activities in the licence area that are authorised by the licence, must take all reasonable steps — 

(a)to ensure that the activities are carried out at a standard that is accepted as reasonable and proper in the mining industry; and

(b)to maintain in good repair all structures and equipment erected in, or brought into, the licence area by the person; and

(c)to remove from the licence area any structure, equipment or other property that — 

(i)belongs to the person, or is under the person’s control; and

(ii)is not being used, or is not going to be used, in connection with the activities.

Maximum penalty: $20 000.

Note: The safety of offshore exploration activities is governed by the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 — see the definition of “exploration operations” and paragraph (a) of the definition of “mining operations” in section 4(1) of that Act.

124.Licence holder must keep specified records etc.

An exploration licence holder must — 

(a)keep whatever records and samples; and

(b)give whatever records and samples to the Minister for inspection; and

(c)make whatever returns,

are necessary to comply with — 

(d)the regulations; or

(e)the licence conditions; or

(f)a direction given by the Minister under section 387.

Note: Under sections 386 and 387 the Minister may direct a person to keep records and samples, to give records and samples to the Minister, and to make returns.

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

125.Licence holder must assist inspectors

An exploration licence holder must provide an inspector with reasonable facilities and assistance so that the inspector is able to carry out compliance inspections.

Note: See sections 377 to 384 for compliance inspections.

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

Division 8 — Expiry of exploration licence

126.General

(1)An exploration licence expires if — 

(a)the term of the licence ends without the licence being renewed; or

(b)the licence holder surrenders the licence; or

(c)a retention licence is granted over the blocks in the licence area of the exploration licence; or

(d)a mining licence is granted over the blocks in the licence area of the exploration licence; or

(e)the licence is cancelled.

Note: For paragraph (a) see Division 6. For paragraph (b) see section 127. For paragraph (c) see section 128. For paragraph (d) see section 129. For paragraph (e) see section 130.

(2)In subsection (1)(a) the reference to the term of the licence includes any period during which the licence is in force under section 90, 91, 92 or 93.

127.Voluntary surrender of exploration licence

An exploration licence holder may surrender the licence.

Note 1:See Division 5 for voluntary surrender of part of a licence area.

Note 2: The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

128.Automatic expiry of exploration licence when retention licence takes effect

If — 

(a)an exploration licence is in force; and

(b)a retention licence over all or some of the blocks in the exploration licence area comes into force under section 154,

the exploration licence expires in relation to the blocks covered by the retention licence.

129.Automatic expiry of exploration licence when mining licence takes effect

If — 

(a)an exploration licence is in force; and

(b)a mining licence over all or some of the blocks in the exploration licence area comes into force under section 232,

the exploration licence expires in relation to the blocks covered by the mining licence.

130.Cancellation of exploration licence

(1)Subject to subsection (5), the Minister may cancel an exploration licence if the licence holder — 

(a)breaches a licence condition; or

(b)contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations; or

(c)breaches a condition attached to an approval under section 365(2).

(2)If the Minister proposes to cancel a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the proposed cancellation.

(3)The notice must — 

(a)specify the reason for the proposed cancellation; and

(b)invite the holder to make submissions in relation to the proposed cancellation; and

(c)specify the day by which submissions may be given to the Minister; and

(d)specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

(4)The day specified under subsection (3)(c) must be not less than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(5)The Minister may cancel the licence only if — 

(a)the holder has been given a notice under subsection (2); and

(b)the Minister has considered — 

(i)any submission made by the holder in accordance with subsection (3); and

(ii)any steps taken by the holder to remedy the breach or contravention that led to the proposal to cancel the licence and to prevent any similar breach or contravention from happening again;

and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence not being cancelled.

131.Obligations of former exploration licence holders and former associates

(1)Subject to subsection (4), if — 

(a)a person was — 

(i)an exploration licence holder; or

(ii)an associate of an exploration licence holder;

and

(b)the licence — 

(i)expires; or

(ii)is cancelled; or

(iii)is surrendered;

and

(c)an obligation associated with the licence arising out of — 

(i)a licence condition; or

(ii)a direction given under section 387; or

(iii)this Act or the regulations,

has not been discharged; and

(d)the person was bound by that obligation when the person was the licence holder or an associate,

the person remains bound by the obligation until the obligation is discharged.

(2)Subsection (1) does not continue an obligation to carry out exploration or recovery activities.

(3)Subsection (1) continues an obligation that a person had to carry out exploration or recovery activities in a particular manner if the person carries them out.

(4)The Minister may determine that the person is not subject to — 

(a)any particular obligation under this section; or

(b)all the person’s remaining obligations under this section.

(5)A determination under subsection (4) is to be in writing.

Part 2.3Retention licences

Division 1 — General

132.Retention licences

This Part provides for the grant of retention licences over blocks in coastal waters.

Note:

A retention licence is designed to allow an exploration licence holder to retain rights over an area if — 

1.the holder has identified and evaluated a significant mineral deposit in the exploration licence area; and

2.mining the deposit is not commercially viable in the short term; and

3.there is a reasonable prospect of development of the deposit in the longer term.

See section 145 for the grounds on which a retention licence may be granted.

133.Activities authorised by a retention licence

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a retention licence holder may — 

(a)explore for minerals in the licence area; and

(b)recover minerals in the licence area.

Note:

1.The retention licence may specify a restricted range of activities that are the only ones authorised by the licence (see section 146(3)).

2.Under section 23(1) the concept of “exploration” extends to activities that are directly related to exploration.

3.Under section 24(1) the concept of “recovery” extends to activities that are directly related to the recovery of minerals.

4.Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

(2)A retention licence does not authorise the recovery of minerals as part of a commercial mining operation.

(3)If the licence is expressed to restrict the kind of minerals covered by the licence, the holder is not permitted to explore for, or to recover, minerals not covered by the licence.

(4)A restriction on the kind of minerals covered by the licence may be inclusive (for example, only minerals A, B and C) or exclusive (for example, all minerals except A, B and C).

(5)For the purposes of subsection (3), the holder does not recover an excluded mineral if, in the course of exploring for, or recovering, another mineral, the holder recovers some excluded mineral.

134.Minister may cancel or not renew retention licence without compensation

No compensation is payable because of the cancellation or non‑renewal of a retention licence by the Minister.

Note:

1.The Minister may cancel the licence under section 189 or 190.

2.The Minister may refuse under section 165 to renew the licence.

135.Licence rights may be suspended

(1)The Minister must suspend particular rights conferred by a retention licence if the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

(2)The Minister may suspend rights under subsection (1) for a specified period or for an indefinite period.

(3)The Minister may end a suspension at any time.

(4)A suspension or the ending of a suspension must be in writing.

(5)If the Minister — 

(a)suspends rights conferred by a retention licence; or

(b)ends a suspension,

the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the suspension or the ending of a suspension.

Note:

See section 181 for the effect of the suspension on the obligations associated with the licence.

(6)A suspension takes effect when — 

(a)the holder has been given notice of the suspension under subsection (5); and

(b)the suspension has been registered under section 337.

136.Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights

(1)If — 

(a)the Minister suspends licence rights under section 135; and

(b)the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

(c)the State and the person agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition,

the State must pay the person the agreed amount of compensation.

(2)If — 

(a)the Minister suspends licence rights under section 135; and

(b)the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

(c)the State and the person do not agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition; and

(d)the person brings an action for compensation against the State in the Supreme Court,

the State must pay the person the amount of compensation (if any) that is determined by that court.

(3)In this section — 

acquisition of property has the same meaning as it has in section 51(xxxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution.

Division 2 — Application for and grant of retention licence

137.Application for retention licence

(1)An exploration licence holder may apply to the Minister for a retention licence over blocks within the exploration licence area.

(2)A person may apply for a retention licence over a group of blocks only if — 

(a)the group forms a discrete area; and

(b)there are not more than 20 blocks in the group.

(3)The exploration licence holder may apply for 2 or more retention licences over different parts of the exploration licence area.

138.How to apply

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)specify the blocks for which the application is made; and

(d)include details of — 

(i)the reasons why the applicant is applying for a retention licence rather than a mining licence; and

(ii)the mineral deposit that the applicant has identified and evaluated and that the applicant believes is commercially viable in the longer term; and

(iii)the applicant’s assessment of the present and potential commercial viability of the mineral deposit; and

(iv)the overall work programme that the applicant has already carried out under the exploration licence on the blocks covered by the application; and

(v)the amount of money that the applicant has already spent under the exploration licence on and in connection with the blocks covered by the application; and

(vi)the activities that the applicant intends to carry out on the blocks covered by the application; and

(vii)the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on and in connection with those activities; and

(viii)the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

(ix)the technical advice available to the applicant; and

(x)the financial resources available to the applicant;

and

(e)be accompanied by maps that — 

(i)relate to the blocks; and

(ii)comply with the regulations;

and

(f)specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The mineral deposit details given under subsection (1)(d)(ii) must include — 

(a)a full description of the mineral deposit; and

(b)both factual information about the deposit and the applicant’s interpretation of the factual information.

(3)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

139.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

140.Application must be advertised

(1)The applicant must advertise the application in a newspaper circulating throughout the State.

(2)The advertisement must contain — 

(a)the applicant’s name and address; and

(b)a map and description of the blocks applied for that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

(c)the address of the Minister; and

(d)a statement that  — 

(i)advises that the applicant has applied for a retention licence for the blocks described in the notice; and

(ii)invites comment from the public on the application; and

(iii)requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

(3)The advertisement must be published — 

(a)as soon as possible after the applicant makes the application; and

(b)in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the day on which the applicant makes the application.

(4)If — 

(a)the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

(b)the Minister extends the period,

the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

141.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

142.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

143.Minister may provisionally grant licence

If the applicant does what is required by sections 138 to 141, the Minister may — 

(a)subject to section 145, provisionally grant a retention licence to the applicant; or

(b)refuse the application.

Note:

Under section 154, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration). The grant will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 151 for “proper acceptance”).

144.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

145.Grounds for granting retention licence

(1)The Minister may provisionally grant the retention licence only if the Minister is satisfied that — 

(a)the exploration licence holder has identified and evaluated a significant mineral deposit in the exploration licence area; and

(b)there are reasonable grounds for the holder not applying immediately for a mining licence.

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), reasonable grounds for not applying immediately for a mining licence include the following — 

(a)the need to obtain government approvals (for example, relating to environmental protection) before mining activities can commence;

(b)the need to carry out further exploration or evaluation in order to establish the commercial viability of a mineral deposit found in the licence area;

(c)the need to develop technologies before mining activities can commence;

(d)the need to arrange finance, or to secure additional capital reserves, before mining activities can commence;

(e)the existence of economic considerations (for example, the prevailing condition of the commodity market for the minerals concerned) that effectively preclude mining activities in the immediate future;

(f)the existence of political considerations that effectively preclude mining activities in the immediate future.

146.Matters to be specified in the licence

(1)The licence must specify — 

(a)the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)the term of the licence; and

(c)the licence conditions.

(2)The term specified under subsection (1)(b) is not to exceed 5 years.

(3)The licence may specify the activities that may be carried out under the licence.

(4)If the licence includes a specification under subsection (3), the licence authorises only the specified activities.

147.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of a decision under section 143.

(2)If the Minister provisionally grants a retention licence — 

(a)the Minister must give the licence to the provisional holder; and

(b)the notice under subsection (1) must contain the following information — 

(i)notification of any determination under section 399 that the provisional holder must lodge a security;

(ii)notification that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(I)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(II)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(III)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

148.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the provisional holder is dissatisfied with a licence condition, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given the licence under section 147.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the provisional holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of a decision under this section.

149.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the provisional holder — 

(a)is notified of a security requirement; and

(b)is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

the provisional holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 147.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of the new determination.

150.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the provisional holder makes a request under section 148 or 149, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 147.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the provisional holder a written notice of the period of the extension.

151.Acceptance of grant of retention licence

(1)The provisional grant of a retention licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, before the required time, the provisional holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 150, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 154, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before the grant is registered (see section 333 for registration).

152.Conditions applicable to licence on grant

If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted under section 151, it is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the licence given to the applicant under section 147; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 148, those conditions as amended.

153.Lapse of provisional grant of retention licence

If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 151, the provisional grant lapses.

Division 3 — Duration of retention licence

154.Initial term of retention licence

(1)A retention licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the grant of the licence is registered; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the grant of the licence is registered is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

(2)The initial term of a retention licence expires at the end of the period specified in the licence under section 146(1).

Note:

1.For the maximum initial term see section 146(2).

2.The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 187).

(3)The period runs from — 

(a)the day on which the licence is provisionally granted; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the licence is provisionally granted is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

155.Term of renewal of licence

(1)A renewal of a retention licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the renewal is registered; or

(b)the day on which the previous term of the licence expires,

whichever is the later.

Note:

See Division 5 for renewal.

(2)The term of a renewal of a licence expires at the end of the period specified in the notice under section 169.

Note:

1.For the maximum term of renewal see section 169(3).

2.The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 187).

(3)The period runs from the expiry of the previous term of the licence.

(4)In working out the period referred to in subsection (3) section 156 is to be disregarded.

156.Effect of application for renewal on term of retention licence

If — 

(a)a retention licence holder applies to renew the licence under section 159; and

(b)the current term of the licence expires; and

(c)a renewal of the licence does not take effect immediately after the current term expires,

the licence remains in force after the current term expires until — 

(d)a renewal of the licence takes effect; or

(e)a provisional renewal of the licence lapses; or

(f)the application for renewal is withdrawn or refused.

157.Effect of application for mining licence on term of retention licence

If — 

(a)a retention licence holder applies for a mining licence over the licence area, or part of the licence area, of the retention licence; and

(b)the current term of the retention licence expires; and

(c)a grant of the mining licence does not take effect before the current term of the retention licence expires,

the retention licence remains in force until — 

(d)the grant of the mining licence takes effect; or

(e)a provisional grant of the mining licence lapses; or

(f)the application for the mining licence is withdrawn or refused.

Division 4 — Voluntary surrender of part of retention licence area

158.Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains

(1)A retention licence holder may surrender a block or some of the blocks covered by the licence if the remaining blocks in the licence area form a discrete area.

Note:

See section 187 for the surrender of the whole licence.

(2)A surrender under subsection (1) must — 

(a)be made in writing; and

(b)identify the blocks surrendered; and

(c)be given to the Minister.

Note:

The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

Division 5 — Application for and grant of renewal of retention licence

159.Application for renewal of retention licence

A retention licence holder may apply to the Minister to renew the licence.

Note:

At each renewal, the licence conditions are reviewed (see section 177).

160.When application to be made

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the application must be made at least 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire.

(2)The Minister may accept an application that is made later than 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire if — 

(a)the application is made before the day on which the licence expires; and

(b)the Minister believes that there are reasonable grounds for accepting the application.

161.How to apply for renewal

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)include details of — 

(i)the reasons why the applicant is applying to renew the retention licence rather than applying for a mining licence; and

(ii) the activities carried out by the applicant under the licence during its current term; and

(iii)the amount of money spent by the applicant in relation to the blocks covered by the licence during its current term; and

(iv)the results obtained by the applicant from carrying out the activities referred to in subparagraph (ii); and

(v)the activities that the applicant intends to carry out under the licence during the term applied for; and

(vi)the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend in relation to activities authorised by the licence during the term applied for.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

162.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant to provide further information relating to the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

163.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

164.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

165.Provisional renewal of retention licence

The Minister may — 

(a)provisionally renew the licence; or

(b)subject to section 168, refuse to renew the licence.

Note:

1.Under section 155, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration). The renewal will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 173 for “proper acceptance”).

2.Under section 177, new conditions may be imposed on renewal.

166.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

167.Matters that may be taken into account

In determining whether to renew the licence, the Minister may have regard to — 

(a)whether mining activities are commercially viable in the retention licence area; and

(b)whether the applicant has complied with — 

(i)this Act; and

(ii)the regulations; and

(iii)any licence conditions.

168.Refusal of application for renewal

(1)If the Minister proposes to refuse to renew the licence, the Minister must give the applicant notice of the proposed refusal.

Note:

The retention licence remains in force until the application for renewal has been finally determined (i.e. until the Minister decides whether or not to renew the licence) (see section 156).

(2)The notice must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)give details of the Minister’s reasons for the proposal not to renew the licence; and

(c)invite the applicant to make written submissions on the proposed non‑renewal to the Minister; and

(d)specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister.

(3)The day specified under subsection (2)(d) is to be at least 30 days after the day on which the notice under subsection (1) is given to the applicant.

(4)The Minister, in deciding whether to refuse to renew the licence, must have regard to any submissions made by the applicant in response to the notice under subsection (1).

169.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 165.

(2)If the Minister provisionally renews the licence under section 165, the notice must contain the following information — 

(a)notification of the term of the renewal;

(b)notification of the conditions of the renewed licence;

(c)notification of any determination under section 399 that the applicant must lodge a security or a further security;

(d)notification that the provisional renewal will lapse unless the applicant, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(i)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(ii)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(iii)pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

Note:

Paragraph (b): section 177 provides for renewals to be granted subject to conditions.

(3)The term specified under subsection (2)(a) is not to exceed 5 years.

170.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 165; and

(b)is notified of the licence conditions; and

(c)is dissatisfied with a condition,

the holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the applicant is given notice under section 169.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence conditions and, with the consent of the holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of a decision under this section.

171.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 165; and

(b)is notified of a security requirement; and

(c)is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

the holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 169.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of the new determination.

172.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the licence holder makes a request under section 170 or 171, the holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 169.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request to extend the primary payment period, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the holder a written notice informing the holder of the period of the extension.

173.Acceptance of renewal of retention licence

(1)The provisional renewal of a retention licence is properly accepted by the licence holder if, before the required time, the holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the licence holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 172, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 155, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration).

174.Conditions applicable to licence on renewal

If the provisional renewal is properly accepted under section 173, the renewed licence is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the notice given to the licence holder under section 169; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 170, those conditions as amended.

175.Lapse of provisional renewal of retention licence

If the provisional renewal of a retention licence is not properly accepted under section 173, the provisional renewal lapses.

Division 6 — Obligations associated with retention licence

176.General

(1)The sources of obligations associated with a retention licence are — 

(a)the licence conditions; and

(b)obligations arising from directions under section 387 or 392 given by the Minister; and

(c)obligations imposed by this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraph (a) see section 177. For paragraph (c) see sections 44, 177 to 185, 372 and 391(1).

(2)If a retention licence has 2 or more holders, all the holders are jointly and severally bound by the obligations that attach to the licence.

177.Conditions of retention licence

(1)The Minister may grant or renew a retention licence subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(2)If the Minister grants or renews a retention licence subject to conditions, the conditions must be specified in the licence.

(3)Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may attach the following kinds of conditions to the grant or renewal of a retention licence — 

(a)a condition requiring the licence holder to take out insurance as required by the Minister;

(b)a condition requiring the holder to carry out certain activities in or in relation to the licence area during the term of the licence;

(c)a condition requiring the holder to spend a specified amount of money in carrying out the activities referred to in paragraph (b);

(d)a condition requiring the holder to lodge a security with the Minister;

(e)a condition requiring the holder to keep specified information;

(f)a condition requiring the holder to give the Minister, on request, specified information;

(g)a condition requiring the holder to take steps to protect the environment of the licence area, including conditions relating to — 

(i)protecting wildlife; or

(ii)minimising the effect on the environment of the licence area and the area surrounding the licence area of activities carried out in the licence area;

(h)a condition requiring the holder to repair any damage to the environment caused by activities in the licence area;

(i)a condition requiring the holder to pay a specified penalty to the State if the holder does not comply with a licence condition.

(4)A condition under subsection (3)(d) must specify — 

(a)the amount of the security required; and

(b)the kind of security required; and

(c)the manner and form in which the security is to be lodged.

(5)Without limiting subsection (3)(d), a condition under that provision may require the lodgment of a security in the form of a guarantee and if a guarantee is required the condition may specify — 

(a)the kind of person who is to give the guarantee; and

(b)the terms of the guarantee.

178.No conditions requiring payment of money

Except for a condition requiring the payment of a penalty or lodgment of a security, a licence condition must not require the payment of money to the State.

179.Variation of conditions

(1)If — 

(a)a retention licence holder requests the Minister in writing to vary a licence condition; or

(b)part of the licence area of a retention licence is surrendered under section 158,

the Minister may vary a licence condition.

(2)If a Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to a retention licence holder, the Minister may vary a licence condition to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may vary a licence condition subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister varies a licence condition, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that — 

(a)informs the holder of the variation; and

(b)specifies the conditions which have been varied; and

(c)specifies any conditions to which the variation is subject.

180.Exemption from or suspension of conditions

(1)If — 

(a)a retention licence holder requests the Minister in writing to — 

(i)suspend a licence condition; or

(ii)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition;

or

(b)part of the licence area of a retention licence is surrendered under section 158,

the Minister may — 

(c)suspend a licence condition; or

(d)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition.

(2)If the Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to a retention licence holder, the Minister may suspend a licence condition, or exempt the holder from compliance with a licence condition, to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may — 

(a)suspend a licence condition; or

(b)exempt the licence holder from compliance with a licence condition,

subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister — 

(a)suspends a licence condition; or

(b)exempts the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

the Minister must give the holder a written notice that — 

(c)informs the holder of the exemption or suspension; and

(d)specifies the conditions which have been suspended or affected by the exemption; and

(e)specifies any conditions to which the suspension or exemption is subject.

Note:

A suspension or exemption of a condition does not take effect until registered (see section 337).

181.Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended

If — 

(a)the Minister suspends particular rights conferred by a retention licence under section 135; and

(b)a licence condition is affected by the suspension,

the licence condition is suspended for the period of the suspension of the rights.

182.Significant changes in circumstances to be reported to Minister

(1)A retention licence holder must notify the Minister of any change of circumstances that significantly affects the long term viability of mining activities in the retention licence area.

Note:

The Minister may cancel the retention licence if the Minister believes that circumstances have changed so that mining activities can now commence (see section 190).

(2)Subsection (1) applies to a change of circumstances whether favourable or unfavourable to the long term viability of mining activities in the retention licence area.

183.Work practices

A person who is a retention licence holder, or an associate of the holder, in carrying out activities in the licence area that are authorised by the licence, must take all reasonable steps — 

(a)to ensure that the activities are carried out at a standard that is accepted as reasonable and proper in the mining industry; and

(b)to maintain in good repair all structures and equipment erected in, or brought into, the licence area by the person; and

(c)to remove from the licence area any structure, equipment or other property that — 

(i)belongs to the person, or is under the person’s control; and

(ii)is not being used, or is not going to be used, in connection with the activities.

Maximum penalty: $20 000.

Note:

1.The safety of offshore exploration and mining activities is governed by the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 — see the definition of “exploration operations” and paragraphs (a) and (j) of the definition of “mining operations” in section 4(1) of that Act.

2.Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

184.Licence holder must keep specified records etc.

A retention licence holder must — 

(a)keep whatever records and samples; and

(b)give whatever records and samples to the Minister for inspection; and

(c)make whatever returns,

are necessary to comply with — 

(d)the regulations; or

(e)the licence conditions; or

(f)a direction given by the Minister under section 387.

Note:

Under sections 386 and 387 the Minister may direct a person to keep records and samples and to give records and samples to the Minister, and to make returns.

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

185.Licence holder must assist inspectors

A retention licence holder must provide an inspector with reasonable facilities and assistance so that the inspector is able to carry out compliance inspections.

Note:

See sections 377 to 384 for compliance inspections.

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

Division 7 — Expiry of retention licence

186.General

A retention licence expires if — 

(a)the term of the licence ends without the licence being renewed; or

(b)the licence holder surrenders the licence; or

(c)a mining licence is granted over the blocks in the licence area of the retention licence; or

(d)the licence is cancelled.

Note:

For paragraph (a) see Division 5. For paragraph (b) see section 187. For paragraph (c) see section 188. For paragraph (d) see sections 189 and 190.

187.Voluntary surrender of retention licence

A retention licence holder may surrender the licence.

Note:

1.See Division 4 for voluntary surrender of part of a licence area.

2.The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

188.Automatic expiry of retention licence when mining licence takes effect

If — 

(a)a retention licence is in force; and

(b)a mining licence over all or some of the blocks in the retention licence area comes into force under section 232,

the retention licence expires in relation to the blocks covered by the mining licence.

189.Cancellation of retention licence, breach of condition etc.

(1)Subject to subsection (5), the Minister may cancel a retention licence if the licence holder — 

(a)breaches a licence condition; or

(b)contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations; or

(c)breaches a condition attached to an approval under section 365(2).

(2)If the Minister proposes to cancel a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the holder a written notice that informs the holder of the proposed cancellation.

(3)The notice must — 

(a)specify the reason for the proposed cancellation; and

(b)invite the holder to make submissions in relation to the proposed cancellation; and

(c)specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister; and

(d)specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

(4)The day specified under subsection (3)(c) must be not less than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(5)The Minister may cancel the licence only if — 

(a)the holder has been given a notice under subsection (2); and

(b)the Minister has considered — 

(i)any submission made by the holder in accordance with subsection (3); and

(ii)any steps taken by the holder to remedy the breach or contravention that led to the proposal to cancel the licence and to prevent any similar breach or contravention from happening again;

and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence not being cancelled.

190.Cancellation of retention licence, mining activities viable

(1)If the Minister believes that mining activities should commence in a retention licence area, the Minister must ask the licence holder to explain to the Minister why the holder should not apply for a mining licence over the retention licence area.

(2)A request under subsection (1) must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)specify the day by which the holder is to give the explanation to the Minister.

(3)The day specified under subsection (2)(b) is to be at least 30 days after the day on which the request is given to the holder.

(4)An explanation provided in response to a request under subsection (1) must be in writing.

(5)The Minister may cancel the retention licence if — 

(a)a request is made under subsection (1); and

(b)either — 

(i)the holder does not give the Minister an explanation in response to the request by the day specified in the request; or

(ii)the holder gives the Minister an explanation in response to the request but the Minister does not consider the explanation to be satisfactory.

(6)If the Minister cancels a retention licence under subsection (5), the Minister may specify the day on which the cancellation takes effect.

(7)Without limiting subsection (6), the Minister, in determining the day on which the cancellation is to take effect, may have regard to the time needed by the holder to obtain the grant of a mining licence over the retention licence area.

191.Obligations of former retention licence holders and former associates

(1)Subject to subsection (4), if — 

(a)a person was — 

(i)a retention licence holder; or

(ii)an associate of a retention licence holder;

and

(b)the licence — 

(i)expires; or

(ii)is cancelled; or

(iii)is surrendered;

and

(c)an obligation associated with the licence arising out of — 

(i)a licence condition; or

(ii)a direction given under section 387; or

(iii)this Act or the regulations,

has not been discharged; and

(d)the person was bound by that obligation when the person was the licence holder or an associate,

the person remains bound by the obligation until the obligation is discharged.

(2)Subsection (1) does not continue an obligation to carry out exploration or recovery activities.

(3)Subsection (1) continues an obligation that a person had to carry out exploration or recovery activities in a particular manner if the person carries them out.

(4)The Minister may determine that the person is not subject to — 

(a)any particular obligation under this section; or

(b)all the person’s remaining obligations under this section.

(5)A determination under subsection (4) is to be in writing.

Part 2.4Mining licences

Division 1 — General

192.Mining licences

(1)This Part provides for the grant of mining licences over blocks in coastal waters.

(2)A mining licence may be granted over — 

(a)a vacant standard block (see Division 2); or

(b)certain blocks that are not vacant (see Division 2); or

(c)a tender block (see Division 3).

Note:

1,A tender block is a block that has been declared available for tender. A standard block is any other block (see sections 19 and 20).

2.A retention or exploration licence holder may apply for a mining licence over the same area or part of the same area.

3.Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206, 225 or 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

193.Activities authorised by a mining licence

(1)Subject to subsection (2), a mining licence holder may — 

(a)recover minerals in the licence area; and

(b)explore for minerals in the licence area.

Note:

1.Under section 23(1) the concept of “exploration” extends to activities that are directly related to exploration.

2,Under section 24(1) the concept of “recovery” extends to activities that are directly related to the recovery of minerals.

3.Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

(2)If the licence is expressed to restrict the kind of minerals covered by the licence, the holder is not permitted to recover, or to explore for, minerals not covered by the licence.

(3)A restriction on the kind of minerals covered by the licence may be inclusive (for example, only minerals A, B and C) or exclusive (for example, all minerals except A, B and C).

(4)For the purposes of subsection (2), the holder does not recover an excluded mineral if, in the course of recovering, or exploring for, another mineral, the holder recovers some excluded mineral.

194.Minister may cancel or not renew mining licence without compensation

No compensation is payable because of the cancellation or non‑renewal of a mining licence by the Minister.

Note:

1.The Minister may cancel the licence under section 265.

2.The Minister may refuse under section 242 to renew the licence.

195.Licence rights may be suspended

(1)The Minister must suspend particular rights conferred by a mining licence if the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

(2)The Minister may suspend rights under subsection (1) for a specified period or for an indefinite period.

(3)The Minister may end a suspension at any time.

(4)A suspension or the ending of a suspension must be in writing.

(5)If the Minister — 

(a)suspends rights conferred by a mining licence; or

(b)ends a suspension,

the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the suspension or the ending of a suspension.

Note:

See section 258 for the effect of the suspension on the obligations associated with the licence.

(6)A suspension takes effect when — 

(a)the holder has been given notice of the suspension under subsection (5); and

(b)the suspension has been registered under section 337.

196.Compensation for acquisition of property due to suspension of rights

(1)If — 

(a)the Minister suspends licence rights under section 195; and

(b)the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

(c)the State and the person agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition,

the State must pay the person the agreed amount of compensation.

(2)If — 

(a)the Minister suspends licence rights under section 195; and

(b)the suspension results in the acquisition of property from a person; and

(c)the State and the person do not agree on an amount of compensation for the acquisition; and

(d)the person brings an action for compensation against the State in the Supreme Court,

the State must pay the person the amount of compensation (if any) that is determined by that court.

(3)In this section — 

acquisition of property has the same meaning as it has in section 51(xxxi) of the Commonwealth Constitution.

Division 2 — Application for and grant of mining licence over standard blocks

197.Application for mining licence over vacant standard block

(1)A person may apply to the Minister for a mining licence over a standard block that is vacant.

(2)A standard block is vacant if no exploration, retention or mining licence is in force over the block.

(3)The application must not cover more than 20 blocks.

(4)If the application is for a licence over a group of blocks, the blocks must form a discrete area.

198.Holder of exploration licence or retention licence may apply for mining licence

(1)An exploration or retention licence holder may apply to the Minister for a mining licence over all or some of the blocks in the licence area of the exploration or retention licence.

(2)A person may apply for a mining licence under subsection (1) over a group of blocks only if — 

(a)the group forms a discrete area; and

(b)there are not more than 20 blocks in the group.

(3)The holder may apply for 2 or more mining licences over different parts of the licence area of the exploration or retention licence.

199.How to apply

(1)An application under section 197 or 198 must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)specify the blocks for which the application is made; and

(d)include details of — 

(i)the activities that the applicant intends to carry out on the block or blocks covered by the application; and

(ii)the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend on those activities; and

(iii)the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

(iv)the technical advice available to the applicant; and

(v)the financial resources available to the applicant; and

(vi)if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share of the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

and

(e)be accompanied by maps that — 

(i)relate to the blocks; and

(ii)comply with the regulations;

and

(f)specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

200.Effect of inclusion of unavailable block in application

If — 

(a)a person applies under section 197 or 198 for a licence over a group of blocks; and

(b)because of section 18, 197 or 198 a mining licence cannot be granted over one or more of the blocks in the group,

the Minister may still deal with the application to the extent to which the application covers blocks for which a mining licence can be granted.

Note:

A mining licence cannot be granted over a block that is not vacant or over a reserved block (see section 18).

201.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

202.Application must be advertised

(1)The applicant must advertise the application in a newspaper that circulates throughout the State.

(2)The advertisement must contain — 

(a)the applicant’s name and address; and

(b)a map and description of the blocks applied for that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

(c)the address of the Minister; and

(d)a statement that — 

(i)advises that the applicant has applied for a mining licence over the blocks described in the notice; and

(ii)invites comment from the public on the application; and

(iii)requests that comments be sent to the applicant and the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the advertisement is published.

(3)The advertisement must be published — 

(a)as soon as possible after the applicant lodges the application; and

(b)in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the day on which the applicant lodges the application.

(4)If — 

(a)the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

(b)the Minister extends the period,

the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

203.How multiple applications are dealt with

(1)Subject to subsection (2), if a block is covered by 2 or more applications for a mining or exploration licence, the Minister must deal with the applications in the order in which they are made.

Note:

See also section 58.

(2)If — 

(a)the applications are lodged within a particular time of each other; and

(b)the time is less than the time prescribed by the regulations,

the Minister must determine the order in which the applications are to be dealt with by drawing lots in the way prescribed by the regulations.

204.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant for further information relating to the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

205.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

206.Minister may provisionally grant licence

If the applicant does what is required by sections 199 to 204, the Minister may — 

(a)provisionally grant a mining licence to the applicant; or

(b)subject to section 208, refuse the application.

Note:

Under section 232, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration). The grant will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 214 for “proper acceptance”).

207.Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park

In the case of the provisional grant of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park, section 206 has effect subject to section 38A(2).

Note:

Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

208.Refusal of application for mining licence made under section 198

(1)If the Minister proposes to refuse an application for a mining licence made under section 198, the Minister must notify the applicant of the proposed refusal.

(2)The notice must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)specify the reason for the proposed refusal; and

(c)invite the applicant to make written submissions in relation to the proposed refusal; and

(d)specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister; and

(e)specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

(3)The day specified under subsection (2)(d) must be not less than 30 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(4)The Minister may refuse to grant an application for a mining licence made under section 198 only if — 

(a)the applicant has been given a notice under subsection (1); and

(b)the Minister has considered any submission made by the applicant; and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence being granted.

(5)This section does not apply if the reason for the refusal of an application for a mining licence is that the requirements of section 38A(2) have not been met.

Note:

Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 206 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

209.Matters to be specified in the licence

(1)The licence must specify — 

(a)the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)the term of the licence; and

(c)the licence conditions.

(2)The term specified under subsection (1)(b) is not to exceed 21 years.

210.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 206.

(2)If the Minister provisionally grants a mining licence — 

(a)the Minister must give the licence to the provisional holder; and

(b)the notice under subsection (1) must contain the following information — 

(i)notification of any determination under section 399 that the provisional holder must lodge a security;

(ii)notification that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(I)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(II)lodges any security required by the Minister under section 399; and

(III)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

211.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the provisional holder is dissatisfied with a licence condition, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given the licence under section 210.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the provisional holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of a decision under this section.

(5)This section does not apply to a licence condition that is specified in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

212.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the provisional holder — 

(a)is notified of a security requirement; and

(b)is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

the provisional holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the applicant is given notice under section 210.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of the new determination.

(5)This section does not apply to a security requirement that is specified in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

213.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the provisional holder makes a request under section 211 or 212, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 210.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the provisional holder a written notice of the period of the extension.

214.Acceptance of grant of mining licence for standard block

(1)The provisional grant of the mining licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, before the required time, the provisional holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 213, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 232, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

215.Conditions applicable to licence on grant

If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted under section 214, it is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the licence given to the applicant under section 210; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 211, those conditions as amended.

216.Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence

If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 214, the provisional grant lapses.

Division 3 — Application for and grant of mining licence over tender block

217.Matters to be determined before applications for mining licence over tender blocks invited

(1)If the Minister proposes to invite applications for the grant of a mining licence over reserved blocks, the Minister must, before inviting the applications, determine — 

(a)the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

(b)the amount of security that will be required for the licence under section 399; and

(c)the initial term of the licence; and

(d)the licence conditions.

(2)The term determined under subsection (1)(c) is not to exceed 21 years.

218.Minister may invite applications for mining licence over tender blocks

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may invite applications for the grant of a mining licence over reserved blocks.

(2)Applications may be invited for a licence covering a group of reserved blocks only if the group forms a discrete area.

(3)The Minister is to invite applications by publishing a tender block licence notice for the licence in the Gazette.

Note:

1.A mining licence may cover not more than 20 tender blocks (see section 219).

2.A mining licence might be made available by a tender block notice if a mineral deposit in the area had already been identified and sufficient information was already available to justify the issue of a mining licence rather than an exploration licence.

219.Tender block licence notice — mining licence

(1)A tender block licence notice for a mining licence must — 

(a)specify the blocks to be covered by the licence; and

(b)specify the period within which applications may be made; and

(c)specify the procedure and criteria that the Minister will adopt to allocate the licence; and

(d)specify the amount of security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

(e)specify the initial term of the licence; and

(f)include a statement to the effect that information about — 

(i)the security that the successful applicant will be required to lodge; and

(ii)the licence conditions,

may be obtained from the Minister.

(2)Without limiting paragraph (c) of subsection (1), the Minister may for the purposes of that paragraph specify that the tender will be determined on the basis of either or both of the following — 

(a)the nature and extent of the mining activity proposed to be carried out;

(b)the amount of money offered for the licence.

(3)The tender block licence notice may specify not more than 20 blocks for the mining licence.

(4)If section 38A will apply to the grant of a licence, the tender block licence notice must specify that fact.

220.Application for mining licence over tender blocks

If a tender block licence notice has been published inviting applications for a mining licence, a person may apply to the Minister for the licence.

221.How to apply

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)be made before the end of the period specified in the tender block licence notice; and

(d)address the criteria specified under section 219(1)(c); and

(e)include details of — 

(i)the technical qualifications of the applicant and of the applicant’s employees who are likely to be involved in activities authorised by the licence; and

(ii)the technical advice available to the applicant; and

(iii)the financial resources available to the applicant; and

(iv)if the licence is to be held by more than one person, the share in the licence that each prospective holder will hold;

and

(f)specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

222.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

223.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant for further information about the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

224.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

225.Minister may provisionally grant licence

(1)The Minister may provisionally grant a mining licence to an applicant who has done what is required by sections 221 to 223.

(2)When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 218.

(3)If the Minister refuses to grant a licence under subsection (1) the Minister must give the applicant notice of the refusal.

226.Restriction in case of marine nature reserve or marine park

In the case of the provisional grant of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park, section 225 has effect subject to section 38A(2).

Note:

Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 225 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

227.Successful applicant must be notified

(1)If the Minister provisionally grants a mining licence under section 225 or 231, the Minister must give the provisional holder — 

(a)the licence; and

(b)written notice that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, within 30 days after the day on which the notice is given — 

(i)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(ii)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(iii)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

(iv)if the tender is determined on the basis of the amounts of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 221(1)(d).

(2)The licence must specify — 

(a)the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)the term of the licence; and

(c)the licence conditions.

Note:

For the term of a licence see section 217(2).

228.Acceptance of grant of mining licence over tender blocks

The provisional grant of a mining licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 227, the provisional holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425; and

(d)if the tender is determined on the basis of the amounts of money offered for the licence, pays to the Minister the amount that the provisional holder offered for the licence under section 221(1)(d).

Note:

Under section 232, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

229.Conditions applicable to licence on grant

(1)If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted, the licence is subject to the conditions determined under section 217.

(2)If subsection (2) of section 38A applies, the licence is also subject to the conditions specified in a resolution referred to in that subsection.

230.Lapse of provisional grant of mining licence

If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 228, the provisional grant lapses.

231.Provisional grant to next applicant if grant lapses

(1)If the provisional grant of the licence lapses under section 230, the Minister may provisionally grant the licence to another of the applicants for the licence.

(2)When provisionally granting a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must follow the procedure and apply the criteria specified in the tender block licence notice published for the licence under section 218.

(3)In the case of the provisional grant of a licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park, subsection (1) has effect subject to section 38A(2).

Note:

Section 38A(2) requires the consent of Parliament to be obtained to the provisional grant under section 231 of a mining licence over a marine nature reserve or a marine park.

Division 4 — Duration of mining licence

232.Initial term of mining licence

(1)A mining licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the grant of the licence is registered; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the grant of the licence is registered is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

(2)The initial term of a mining licence ends — 

(a)if the licence is granted under Division 2, at the end of the period specified in the licence under section 209(1); or

(b)if the licence is granted under Division 3, at the end of the period specified under section 227(2).

Note:

The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 264).

(3)The period runs from — 

(a)the day on which the licence is provisionally granted; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the licence is provisionally granted is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

233.Term of renewal of licence

(1)A renewal of a mining licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the renewal is registered; or

(b)the day on which the previous term of the licence expires,

whichever is the later.

Note:

See Division 6 for renewal.

(2)The term of a renewal of a licence ends at the end of the period specified in the notice under section 246.

Note:

1.For the maximum term of renewal see section 246(3).

2.The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 264).

(3)The period runs from the day on which the previous term of the licence expires.

(4)In working out the period referred to in subsection (3) section 234 is to be disregarded.

234.Effect of application for renewal on term of mining licence

If — 

(a)a mining licence holder applies to renew the licence under section 236; and

(b)the current term of the licence expires; and

(c)a renewal of the licence does not take effect immediately after the current term expires,

the licence remains in force after the current term expires until — 

(d)a renewal of the licence takes effect; or

(e)a provisional renewal of the licence lapses; or

(f)the application for renewal is withdrawn or refused.

Division 5 — Voluntary surrender of part of mining licence area

235.Voluntary surrender of blocks if discrete area remains

(1)A mining licence holder may surrender a block or some of the blocks covered by the licence if the remaining blocks in the licence area form a discrete area.

Note:

See section 264 for the surrender of the whole licence.

(2)A surrender under subsection (1) must — 

(a)be made in writing; and

(b)identify the blocks surrendered; and

(c)be given to the Minister.

Note:

The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

Division 6 — Application for and grant of renewal of mining licence

236.Application for renewal of mining licence

A mining licence holder may apply to the Minister to renew the licence.

Note:

At each renewal, the licence conditions are reviewed (see section 254).

237.When application to be made

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the application must be made at least 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire.

(2)The Minister may accept an application that is made later than 6 months before the day on which the licence is to expire if — 

(a)the application is made before the day on which the licence expires; and

(b)the Minister believes that there are reasonable grounds for accepting the application.

238.How to apply for renewal

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)include details of — 

(i)the activities carried out by the applicant under the licence during its current term; and

(ii)the amount of money spent by the applicant in relation to the blocks covered by the licence during its current term; and

(iii)the activities that the applicant intends to carry out under the licence during the term applied for; and

(iv)the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend in relation to activities authorised by the licence during the term applied for.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

239.Request for further information

(1)The Minister may ask the applicant to provide further information relating to the application.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)be given to the applicant; and

(c)specify the time within which the information must be provided.

(3)Information requested under subsection (1) must be provided —

(a)in writing; and

(b)within the time specified in the request.

240.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

241.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

242.Provisional renewal of mining licence

The Minister may — 

(a)provisionally renew the licence; or

(b)subject to section 245, refuse to renew the licence.

Note:

1.Under section 233, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration). The renewal will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 250 for “proper acceptance”).

2.Under section 254, new conditions may be imposed on renewal.

243.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

244.Matters that may be taken into account

In deciding whether to renew a mining licence, the Minister may have regard to whether the applicant has complied with —

(a)this Act; and

(b)the regulations; and

(c)any licence conditions.

245.Refusal of application for renewal

(1)If the Minister proposes to refuse to renew the licence, the Minister must give the applicant notice of the proposed refusal.

(2)The notice must — 

(a)be in writing; and

(b)specify the reason for the proposed refusal; and

(c)invite the holder to make written submissions in relation to the proposed refusal; and

(d)specify the day by which submissions may be given to the Minister; and

(e)specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

(3)The day specified under subsection (2)(d) must be not less than 30 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(4)The Minister may refuse to grant the application only if — 

(a)the holder has been given a notice under subsection (1); and

(b)the Minister has considered any submission made by the applicant; and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the renewal being granted.

246.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 242.

(2)If the Minister provisionally renews the licence under section 242, the notice must contain the following information — 

(a)notification of the term of the renewal;

(b)notification of the conditions of the renewed licence;

(c)notification of any determination under section 399 that the applicant must lodge a security or a further security;

(d)notification that the provisional renewal will lapse unless the applicant, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(i)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(ii)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(iii)pays the fee that must be paid for the renewal under section 425.

Note:

Section 254 provides for renewals to be granted subject to conditions.

(3)The term specified under subsection (2)(a) is not to be more than 21 years.

247.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 242; and

(b)is notified of the licence conditions; and

(c)is dissatisfied with a condition,

the holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 246.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of a decision under this section.

248.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 242; and

(b)is notified of a security requirement for the licence; and

(c)is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

the holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 246.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of the new determination.

249.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the licence holder makes a request under section 247 or 248, the holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 246.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the holder a written notice informing the holder of the period of the extension.

250.Acceptance of renewal of mining licence

(1)The provisional renewal of a mining licence is properly accepted by the licence holder if, before the required time, the holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 249, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 233, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration).

251.Conditions applicable to licence on renewal

If the provisional renewal is properly accepted under section 250, the renewed licence is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the notice given to the licence holder under section 246; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 247, those conditions as amended.

252.Lapse of provisional renewal of mining licence

If the provisional renewal of a mining licence is not properly accepted under section 250, the provisional renewal lapses.

Division 7 — Obligations associated with mining licence

253.General

(1)The sources of obligations associated with a mining licence are — 

(a)the licence conditions; and

(b)obligations arising from directions under section 387 or 392 given by the Minister; and

(c)obligations imposed by this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraph (a) see sections 254 to 256. For paragraph (c) see sections 44, 259 to 262, 372 and 391(1).

(2)If a mining licence has 2 or more holders, all the holders are jointly and severally bound by the obligations that attach to the licence.

254.Conditions of mining licence

(1)The Minister may grant or renew a mining licence subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(2)If the Minister grants or renews a mining licence subject to conditions, the conditions must be specified in the licence.

(3)Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may attach the following kinds of conditions to the grant or renewal of a mining licence — 

(a)a condition requiring the licence holder to take out insurance as required by the Minister;

(b)a condition requiring the holder to carry out certain work in or in relation to the licence area during the term of the licence;

(c)a condition requiring the holder to lodge a security with the Minister;

(d)a condition requiring the holder to keep specified information;

(e)a condition requiring the holder to give to the Minister, on request, specified information;

(f)a condition requiring the holder to take steps to protect the environment of the licence area, including conditions relating to — 

(i)protecting wildlife; or

(ii)minimising the effect on the environment of the licence area and the area surrounding the licence area of activities carried out in the licence area;

(g)a condition requiring the holder to repair any damage to the environment caused by activities in the licence area;

(h)a condition requiring the holder to pay a specified penalty to the State if the holder does not comply with a licence condition.

(4)A condition under subsection (3)(c) must specify — 

(a)the amount of the security required; and

(b)the kind of security required; and

(c)the manner and form in which the security is to be lodged.

(5)Without limiting subsection (3)(c), a condition under that provision may require the lodgment of a security in the form of a guarantee and if a guarantee is required the condition may specify — 

(a)the kind of person who is to give the guarantee; and

(b)the terms of the guarantee.

(6)If subsection (2) of section 38A applies to a mining licence, the licence must include any condition specified in a resolution under that subsection.

255.No conditions requiring payment of money

(1)Except for a condition requiring the payment of a penalty or lodgment of security, a licence condition must not require the payment of money to the State.

(2)Subsection (1) does not limit the conditions that may be included in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

256.Variation of conditions

(1)If — 

(a)a mining licence holder requests the Minister in writing to vary a licence condition; or

(b)part of the licence area of a mining licence is surrendered under section 235,

the Minister may vary a licence condition.

(2)If the Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to a mining licence holder, the Minister may vary a licence condition to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may vary a licence condition subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister varies a licence condition, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that — 

(a)informs the holder of the variation; and

(b)specifies the conditions which have been varied; and

(c)specifies any conditions to which the variation is subject.

(5)This section does not apply to a licence condition that is specified in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

257.Exemption from or suspension of conditions

(1)If — 

(a)a mining licence holder requests the Minister in writing to — 

(i)suspend a licence condition; or

(ii)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition;

or

(b)part of the licence area of a mining licence is surrendered under section 235,

the Minister may — 

(c)suspend a licence condition; or

(d)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition.

(2)If the Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to a mining licence holder, the Minister may suspend a licence condition, or exempt the holder from compliance with a licence condition, to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may — 

(a)suspend a licence condition; or

(b)exempt the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister — 

(a)suspends a licence condition; or

(b)exempts the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

the Minister must give the holder a written notice that — 

(c)informs the holder of the exemption or suspension; and

(d)specifies the conditions which have been suspended or affected by the exemption; and

(e)specifies any conditions to which the suspension or exemption is subject.

(5)This section does not apply to a licence condition that is specified in a resolution referred to in section 38A(2).

Note:

A suspension or exemption of a condition does not take effect until registered (see section 337).

258.Automatic suspension of conditions if licence rights are suspended

If — 

(a)the Minister suspends particular rights conferred by a mining licence under section 195; and

(b)a licence condition is affected by the suspension,

the licence condition is suspended for the period of the suspension of the rights.

259.Work practices

A person who is a mining licence holder or an associate of the holder, in carrying out activities in the licence area that are authorised by the licence, must take all reasonable steps — 

(a)to ensure that the activities are carried out at a standard that is accepted as reasonable and proper in the mining industry; and

(b)to maintain in good repair all structures and equipment erected in, or brought into, the licence area by the person; and

(c)to remove from the licence area any structure, equipment or other property that — 

(i)belongs to the person, or is under the person’s control; and

(ii)is not being used, or is not going to be used, in connection with the activities.

Maximum penalty: $20 000.

Note:

1.The safety of offshore exploration and mining activities is governed by the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 — see the definition of “exploration operations” and paragraphs (a) and (j) of the definition of “mining operations” in section 4(1) of that Act.

2.Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

260.Licence holder must pay royalty

A mining licence holder must comply with Division 2 of Part 4.4.

261.Licence holder must keep specified records

A mining licence holder must — 

(a)keep whatever records and samples; and

(b)give whatever records and samples to the Minister for inspection; and

(c)make whatever returns,

are necessary to comply with — 

(d)the regulations; or

(e)the licence conditions; or

(f)a direction given by the Minister under section 387.

Note:

Under section 386 and 387 the Minister may direct a person to keep records and cores, to collect and retain samples, and to make returns.

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

262.Licence holder must assist inspectors

A mining licence holder must provide an inspector with reasonable facilities and assistance so that the inspector is able to carry out compliance inspections.

Note:

See sections 377 to 384 for compliance inspections.

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

Division 8 — Expiry of mining licence

263.General

A mining licence expires if — 

(a)the term of the licence ends without the licence being renewed; or

(b)the licence holder surrenders the licence; or

(c)the licence is cancelled.

Note:

For paragraph (a) see Division 6. For paragraph (b) see section 264. For paragraph (c) see section 265.

264.Voluntary surrender of mining licence

A mining licence holder may surrender the licence.

Note:

1.See Division 5 for voluntary surrender of part of a licence area.

2.The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

265.Cancellation of mining licence

(1)Subject to subsection (5), the Minister may cancel a mining licence if the licence holder — 

(a)breaches a licence condition; or

(b)contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations; or

(c)breaches a condition attached to an approval under section 365(2).

(2)If the Minister proposes to cancel a licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the proposed cancellation.

(3)The notice must — 

(a)specify the reason for the proposed cancellation; and

(b)invite the holder to make submissions in relation to the proposed cancellation; and

(c)specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister; and

(d)specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

(4)The day specified under subsection (3)(c) must be not less than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(5)The Minister may cancel the licence only if — 

(a)the holder has been given a notice under subsection (2); and

(b)the Minister has considered — 

(i)any submission made by the holder in accordance with subsection (3); and

(ii)any steps taken by the holder to remedy the breach or contravention that led to the proposal to cancel the licence and to prevent any similar breach or contravention from happening again;

and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence not being cancelled.

266.Obligations of former mining licence holders and former associates

(1)Subject to subsection (4), if — 

(a)a person was — 

(i)a mining licence holder; or

(ii)an associate of a mining licence holder;

and

(b)the licence — 

(i)expires; or

(ii)is cancelled; or

(iii)is surrendered;

and

(c)an obligation associated with the licence arising out of — 

(i)a licence condition; or

(ii)a direction given under section 387; or

(iii)this Act or the regulations,

has not been discharged; and

(d)the person was bound by that obligation when the person was the licence holder or an associate,

the person remains bound by the obligation until the obligation is discharged.

(2)Subsection (1) does not continue an obligation to carry out exploration or recovery activities.

(3)Subsection (1) continues an obligation that a person had to carry out exploration or recovery activities in a particular manner if the person carries them out.

(4)The Minister may determine that the person is not subject to — 

(a)a particular obligation under this section; or

(b)all the person’s remaining obligations under this section.

(5)A determination under subsection (4) is to be in writing.

Part 2.5Works licences

Division 1 — General

267.Works licences

(1)This Part provides for the grant of works licences over blocks in coastal waters.

Note:

A works licence allows licence‑related activities to be carried out on blocks that are outside the licence area of the exploration, retention or mining licence concerned.

(2)A works licence can only authorise activities that — 

(a)are directly connected with activities that are carried out, or are to be carried out, under an exploration, retention or mining licence; and

(b)are necessary or desirable for the exploration, retention or mining licence holder to — 

(i)effectively exercise the licence rights; or

(ii)effectively perform the licence obligations.

(3)A works licence can be granted over a particular block even though the block is a reserved block or is in someone else’s licence area.

(4)More than one works licence can be granted over a particular block.

(5)A works licence may be granted so as to allow activities that are connected with 2 or more licences.

268.Activities authorised by a works licence

A works licence holder may carry out in the licence area the activities that are specified in the licence.

Note:

Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

269.Minister may cancel or not renew works licence without compensation

No compensation is payable because of the cancellation or non‑renewal of a works licence by the Minister.

Note:

1.The Minister may cancel the licence under section 313.

2.The Minister may refuse under section 294 to renew the licence.

Division 2 — Application for and grant of works licence

270.Application for works licence

A person may apply to the Minister for a works licence over a block.

271.How to apply

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)include details of the activities that the applicant proposes to carry out; and

(d)be accompanied by a map that shows the proposed location of the activities; and

(e)specify an address for service of notices under this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

272.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

273.Applicant to notify licence holders affected by the application

(1)The applicant must notify interested licence holders of the application.

(2)The notification — 

(a)must be given to the interested licence holder in writing; and

(b)must give details of the works licence applied for; and

(c)must invite the interested licence holder to give comments to the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(3)For the purposes of this section, a licence holder is interested if — 

(a)a block covered by the application is inside the licence area; and

(b)the holder is not the applicant.

274.Application must be advertised

(1)The applicant must advertise the application in a newspaper circulating throughout the State.

(2)The advertisement must contain — 

(a)the applicant’s name and address; and

(b)a map and description of the blocks covered that are sufficient for the blocks to be identified; and

(c)details of the activities that the applicant proposes to carry out; and

(d)a map showing the proposed location of those activities; and

(e)the address of the Minister; and

(f)a statement that — 

(i)advises that the applicant has applied for a works licence over the blocks described in the notice; and

(ii)invites comment from the public on the application; and

(iii)requests that comments be sent to the applicant and to the Minister specified in the notice within 30 days of the day on which the advertisement is published.

(3)The advertisement must be published — 

(a)as soon as possible after the applicant makes the application; and

(b)in any case, subject to subsection (4), within 14 days after the day on which the applicant makes the application.

(4)If — 

(a)the applicant applies to the Minister within the 14 day period referred to in subsection (3) for an extension of the period; and

(b)the Minister extends the period,

the advertisement must be published within the period as extended by the Minister.

275.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

276.Minister may provisionally grant licence

If the applicant does what is required by sections 271 to 274, the Minister may — 

(a)provisionally grant a works licence to the applicant; or

(b)refuse the application.

Note:

Under section 286, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration). The grant will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 283 for “proper acceptance”).

277.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

278.Matters to be specified in the licence

(1)The licence must specify — 

(a)the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)the activities authorised by the licence; and

(c)the area in which the activities are to be carried out; and

(d)the term of the licence; and

(e)the licence conditions.

Note:

Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

(2)The term specified under subsection (1)(d) is not to exceed 5 years.

279.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of a decision under section 276.

(2)If the Minister provisionally grants a works licence — 

(a)the Minister must give the licence to the provisional holder; and

(b)the notice under subsection (1) must contain the following information — 

(i)notification of any determination under section 399 that the provisional holder must lodge a security;

(ii)notification that the provisional grant will lapse unless the provisional holder, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(I)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(II)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(III)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

280.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the provisional holder is dissatisfied with a licence condition, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given the licence under section 279.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence conditions and, with the consent of the provisional holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of a decision under this section.

281.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the provisional holder — 

(a)is notified of a security requirement; and

(b)is dissatisfied with the amount of the security required,

the provisional holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the applicant is given notice under section 279.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the provisional holder written notice of the new determination.

282.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the provisional holder makes a request under section 280 or 281, the provisional holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the provisional holder is given notice under section 279.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the provisional holder a written notice of the period of the extension.

283.Acceptance of grant of works licence

(1)The provisional grant of a works licence is properly accepted by the provisional holder if, before the required time, the provisional holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the grant; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 282, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 286, the grant of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 333 for registration).

284.Conditions applicable to works licence on grant

If the provisional grant of the licence is properly accepted under section 283, it is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the licence given to the applicant under section 279; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 280, those conditions as amended.

285.Lapse of provisional grant of works licence

If the provisional grant of the licence is not properly accepted under section 283, the provisional grant lapses.

Division 3 — Duration of works licence

286.Initial term of works licence

(1)A works licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the grant of the licence is registered; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the grant of the licence is registered is specified in the licence as its commencement day, that specified day.

(2)The initial term of a works licence expires at the end of the period specified in the licence under section 278(1).

Note:

1.For the maximum initial term see section 278(2).

2.The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 312).

(3)The period is to run from — 

(a)the day on which the licence is provisionally granted; or

(b)if a day later than the day on which the licence is provisionally granted is specified in the licence as the licence’s commencement day, that specified day.

287.Term of renewal of works licence

(1)A renewal of a works licence comes into force on — 

(a)the day on which the renewal is registered; or

(b)the day on which the previous term of the licence expires,

whichever is the later.

Note:

See Division 4 for renewal.

(2)The term of a renewal of a licence expires at the end of the period specified in the notice under section 296.

Note:

1.For the maximum term of renewal see section 296(3).

2.The licence may be surrendered at any time (see section 312).

(3)The period runs from the day on which the previous term of the licence expires.

288.Effect of application for renewal on term of works licence

If — 

(a)a works licence holder applies to renew the licence under section 289; and

(b)the current term of the licence expires; and

(c)a renewal of the licence does not take effect immediately after the current term expires,

the licence remains in force after the current term expires until —

(d)a renewal of the licence takes effect; or

(e)a provisional renewal of the licence lapses; or

(f)the application for renewal is withdrawn or refused,

whichever happens first.

Division 4 — Application for and grant of renewal of works licence

289.Application for renewal of works licence

A works licence holder may apply to the Minister to renew the licence.

Note:

At each renewal, the works licence conditions are reviewed (see section 304).

290.When application to be made

(1)Subject to subsection (2), the application must be made at least 30 days before the day on which the licence is to expire.

(2)The Minister may accept an application that is made later than 30 days before the day on which the works licence is to expire if — 

(a)the application is made before the day on which the licence expires; and

(b)the Minister believes that there are reasonable grounds for accepting the application.

291.How to apply for renewal

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)be made in the approved manner; and

(c)include details of — 

(i)the activities carried out by the applicant under the licence during its current term; and

(ii)the amount of money spent by the applicant in relation to the blocks covered by the licence during its current term; and

(iii)the activities that the applicant intends to carry out under the licence during the term applied for; and

(iv)the amount of money that the applicant intends to spend in relation to the activities authorised by the licence during the term applied for.

Note:

For paragraphs (a) and (b) see section 41.

(2)The applicant may include in the application any other information that the applicant thinks is relevant.

292.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

293.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

294.Provisional renewal of works licence

The Minister may — 

(a)provisionally renew the licence; or

(b)refuse to renew the licence.

Note:

1.Under section 287, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration). The renewal will not be registered until it has been properly accepted (see section 300 for “proper acceptance”).

2.Under section 304, new conditions may be imposed on renewal.

295.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

296.Applicant must be notified

(1)The Minister must give the applicant written notice of the Minister’s decision under section 294.

(2)If the Minister provisionally renews the works licence under section 294, the notice must contain the following information — 

(a)notification of the term of the renewal;

(b)notification of the conditions of the renewed licence;

(c)notification that the provisional renewal will lapse unless the applicant, before the end of the primary payment period — 

(i)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(ii)lodges any security required by the Minister under section 399; and

(iii)pays the fee that must be paid under section 425.

Note:

Paragraph (b): section 304 provides for renewals to be granted subject to conditions.

(3)The term specified under subsection (2)(a) is not to exceed 5 years.

297.Amendment of conditions

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 294; and

(b)is notified of the licence conditions; and

(c)is dissatisfied with a licence condition,

the holder may ask the Minister to amend the condition.

(2)The request must — 

(a)be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 296; and

(b)be lodged with the Minister.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may amend the licence condition and, with the consent of the holder, any other licence condition.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of a decision under this section.

298.Amendment of security requirements

(1)If the licence holder — 

(a)has been provisionally granted a renewal of the licence under section 294; and

(b)is notified of a security requirement; and

(c)is dissatisfied with the amount of security required,

the holder may ask the Minister to make a new determination under section 399.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 296.

(3)If a request is made under subsection (1), the Minister may make a new determination under section 399.

(4)The Minister must give the holder written notice of the new determination.

299.Extension of primary payment period

(1)If the licence holder makes a request under section 297 or 298, the holder may ask the Minister to extend the primary payment period.

(2)The request must be made within 30 days after the day on which the holder is given notice under section 296.

(3)If the Minister agrees to the request, the Minister must — 

(a)determine the period of the extension; and

(b)give the holder written notice informing the holder of the period of the extension.

300.Acceptance of renewal of works licence

(1)The provisional renewal of a works licence is properly accepted by the licence holder if, before the required time, the holder — 

(a)gives the Minister a written acceptance of the renewal; and

(b)lodges any security required under section 399; and

(c)pays the fee that must be paid for the licence under section 425.

(2)The required time under subsection (1) is the end of the primary payment period or, if the provisional holder has been granted an extension of the primary payment period under section 299, the end of the secondary payment period.

Note:

Under section 287, the renewal of the licence cannot be effective before it is registered (see section 334 for registration).

301.Conditions applicable to works licence on renewal

If the provisional renewal is properly accepted under section 300, the renewed licence is subject to — 

(a)the conditions specified in the notice given to the licence holder under section 296; or

(b)if the Minister amended those conditions under section 297, those conditions as amended.

302.Lapse of provisional renewal of works licence

If the provisional renewal of the licence is not properly accepted under section 300, the provisional renewal lapses.

Division 5 — Obligations associated with works licence

303.General

(1)The sources of obligations associated with a works licence are — 

(a)the licence conditions; and

(b)obligations arising from directions under section 387 or 392 given by the Minister; and

(c)obligations imposed by this Act and the regulations.

Note:

For paragraph (a) see sections 304 to 306. For paragraph (c) see sections 44, 308 to 310, 372 and 391(1).

(2)If a works licence has 2 or more holders, all the holders are jointly and severally bound by the obligations that attach to the licence.

304.Conditions of works licence

(1)The Minister may grant or renew a works licence subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(2)If the Minister grants or renews a works licence subject to conditions, the conditions must be specified in the licence.

(3)Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may attach the following kinds of conditions to the grant or renewal of a works licence — 

(a)a condition requiring the licence holder to take out insurance as required by the Minister;

(b)a condition requiring the holder to carry out certain work in or in relation to the licence area during the term of the licence;

(c)a condition requiring the holder to lodge a security with the Minister;

(d)a condition requiring the holder to keep specified information;

(e)a condition requiring the holder to give the Minister, on request, specified information;

(f)a condition requiring the holder to take steps to protect the environment of the licence area, including conditions relating to — 

(i)protecting wildlife; or

(ii)minimising the effect on the environment of the licence area and the area surrounding the licence of activities carried out in the licence area;

(g)a condition requiring the holder to repair any damage to the environment caused by activities in the licence area;

(h)a condition requiring the holder to pay a specified penalty to the State if the holder does not comply with a licence condition.

(4)A condition under subsection 3(c) must specify — 

(a)the amount of the security required; and

(b)the kind of security required; and

(c)the manner and form in which the security is to be lodged.

(5)Without limiting subsection (3)(c), a condition under that provision may require the lodgment of a security in the form of a guarantee and if a guarantee is required the condition may specify — 

(a)the kind of person who is to give the guarantee; and

(b)the terms of the guarantee.

305.No conditions requiring payment of money

Except for a condition requiring the payment of a penalty or lodgment of a security, a licence condition must not require the payment of money to the State.

306.Variation of conditions

(1)If a works licence holder requests the Minister in writing to vary a licence condition, the Minister may vary the condition.

(2)If the Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to a works licence holder, the Minister may vary a licence condition to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may vary a licence condition subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister varies a licence condition, the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that — 

(a)informs the holder of the variation; and

(b)specifies the conditions which have been varied; and

(c)specifies any conditions to which the variation is subject.

307.Exemption from or suspension of conditions

(1)If a works licence holder requests the Minister in writing to — 

(a)suspend a licence condition; or

(b)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition,

the Minister may — 

(c)suspend a licence condition; or

(d)exempt the holder from complying with a licence condition.

(2)If the Minister gives — 

(a)a direction under section 387; or

(b)an approval, consent or exemption under the regulations,

to a works licence holder, the Minister may suspend a licence condition, or exempt the holder from compliance with a licence condition, to the extent necessary to avoid inconsistency between the licence conditions and the direction, approval, consent or exemption.

(3)The Minister may — 

(a)suspend a licence condition; or

(b)exempt the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks appropriate.

(4)If the Minister — 

(a)suspends a licence condition; or

(b)exempts the licence holder from complying with a licence condition,

the Minister must give the holder a written notice that — 

(c)informs the holder of the exemption or suspension; and

(d)specifies the conditions which have been suspended or affected by the exemption; and

(e)specifies any conditions to which the suspension or exemption is subject.

Note:

A suspension or exemption of a condition does not take effect until registered (see section 337).

308.Work practices

A person who is a works licence holder or an associate of the holder, in carrying out activities in the licence area that are authorised by the licence, must take all reasonable steps — 

(a)to ensure that the activities are carried out at a standard that is accepted as reasonable and proper in the mining industry; and

(b)to maintain in good repair all structures, equipment and other property erected in, or brought into, the licence area by the person; and

(c)to remove from the licence area any structure, equipment or other property that — 

(i)belongs to the person, or is under the person’s control; and

(ii)is not being used, or is not going to be used, in connection with the activities.

Maximum penalty: $20 000.

Note:

1.The safety of offshore exploration and mining activities is governed by the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 — see the definition of “exploration operations” and paragraphs (a) and (j) of the definition of “mining operations” in section 4(1) of that Act.

2.Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

309.Licence holder must keep specified records etc.

A works licence holder must — 

(a)keep whatever records; and

(b)give whatever records to the Minister for inspection; and

(c)make whatever returns,

are necessary to comply with — 

(d)the regulations; or

(e)the licence conditions; or

(f)a direction given by the Minister under section 387.

Note:

Under sections 386 and 387 the Minister may direct a person to keep records and to make returns.

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

310.Licence holder must assist inspectors

A works licence holder must provide an inspector with reasonable facilities and assistance so that the inspector is able to carry out compliance inspections.

Note:

See sections 377 to 384 for compliance inspections.

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

Division 6 — Expiry of works licence

311.General

A works licence expires if — 

(a)the term of the licence ends without the licence being renewed; or

(b)the licence holder surrenders the licence; or

(c)the licence is cancelled.

Note:

For paragraph (a) see Division 4. For paragraph (b) see section 312. For paragraph (c) see section 313.

312.Voluntary surrender of works licence

The holder of a works licence may surrender the licence.

Note:

The surrender takes effect when it is registered under section 337 (see section 337(5)).

313.Cancellation of works licence

(1)Subject to subsection (5), the Minister may cancel a works licence if the licence holder — 

(a)breaches a licence condition; or

(b)contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations; or

(c)breaches a condition attached to an approval under section 365(2).

(2)If the Minister proposes to cancel a works licence under subsection (1), the Minister must give the licence holder a written notice that informs the holder of the proposed cancellation.

(3)The notice must — 

(a)specify the reason for the proposed cancellation; and

(b)invite the holder to make submissions in relation to the proposed cancellation; and

(c)specify the day by which submissions may be made to the Minister; and

(d)specify an address where submissions are to be lodged.

(4)The day specified under subsection (3)(c) must be not less than 60 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(5)The Minister may cancel a works licence only if — 

(a)the holder has been given a notice under subsection (2); and

(b)the Minister has considered — 

(i)any submission made by the holder in accordance with subsection (3); and

(ii)any steps taken by the holder to remedy the circumstances that led to the proposal to cancel the licence and to prevent any similar breach or contravention from happening again;

and

(c)the Minister is satisfied that no special circumstances exist that justify the licence not being cancelled.

314.Obligations of former works licence holders and former associates

(1)Subject to subsection (2), if — 

(a)a person was — 

(i)a works licence holder; or

(ii)an associate of a works licence holder;

and

(b)the licence — 

(i)expires; or

(ii)is cancelled; or

(iii)is surrendered;

and

(c)an obligation associated with the licence arising out of —

(i)a licence condition; or

(ii)a direction given under section 387; or

(iii)this Act or the regulations,

has not been discharged; and

(d)the person was bound by that obligation when the person was the works licence holder or an associate,

the person remains bound by the obligation until the obligation is discharged.

(2)The Minister may determine that the person is not subject to — 

(a)any particular obligation under this section; or

(b)all the person’s remaining obligations under this section.

(3)A determination under subsection (2) is to be in writing.

Part 2.6Special purpose consents

315.Special purpose consents

(1)A special purpose consent may be granted over — 

(a)a standard block; or

(b)a reserved block; or

(c)a tender block.

(2)A special purpose consent may be granted over a block even if the block is in the licence area of a licence or the consent area of another special purpose consent.

(3)A special purpose consent can only be granted for — 

(a)a scientific investigation; or

(b)a reconnaissance survey; or

(c)the collection of small amounts of minerals.

(4)A reconnaissance survey is the exploration of an area to work out whether the area is sufficiently promising to justify more detailed exploration under an exploration licence.

316.Activities authorised by a special purpose consent

(1)A special purpose consent holder may — 

(a)explore for minerals; and

(b)take samples of or recover minerals,

in the consent area, in accordance with the consent.

Note:

1.Under section 23(1) the concept of “exploration” extends to activities that are directly related to exploration.

2.Under section 24(1) the concept of “recovery” extends to activities that are directly related to the recovery of minerals.

(2)The grant of a consent does not give the consent holder — 

(a)any exclusive or proprietary rights over the blocks covered by the consent; or

(b)any option or preference when it comes to the grant of a licence over blocks covered by the consent.

317.Application for a consent

A person may apply to the Minister for a special purpose consent.

318.How to apply

(1)The application must — 

(a)be made in writing; and

(b)include details of the activities for which consent is being sought; and

(c)specify the blocks for which the consent is being sought.

(2)If the activity involves the collection of only small amounts of minerals (see section 315(3)(c)), the application must also specify — 

(a)any mineral to be recovered; and

(b)the proposed quantity of any mineral to be recovered.

319.Payment of fee

(1)The applicant must pay the application fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The fee must be paid when the application is made.

(3)The Minister may refund any fee paid under subsection (1) but only if the Minister is satisfied that special circumstances exist that justify the refund of the fee.

320.Applicant must obtain agreement of exploration, retention and mining licence holders affected by the application

(1)Subject to subsection (3), the applicant must obtain the agreement of interested licence holders to the application.

(2)The agreement must be in writing.

(3)The agreement of an interested licence holder is not necessary if — 

(a)the application is for a scientific investigation; and

(b)Australia has obligations under international conventions to allow the investigation.

(4)For the purposes of this section, a licence holder is interested if — 

(a)the holder holds an exploration, retention or mining licence; and

(b)the block concerned is inside the licence area.

321.Applicant to notify works licence holders affected by the application

(1)The applicant must notify interested works licence holders of the application.

(2)The notification — 

(a)must be given to the interested works licence holders in writing; and

(b)must give details of the special purpose consent applied for; and

(c)must invite the interested works licence holder to give comments to the Minister within 30 days after the day on which the notice was given.

(3)For the purposes of this section, a works licence holder is interested if the block concerned is inside the works licence area.

322.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

323.Minister may grant special purpose consent

If the applicant does what is required by sections 318 to 321, the Minister may — 

(a)grant a special purpose consent to the applicant; or

(b)refuse the application.

324.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

325.Matters to be specified in the consent

(1)The consent must specify — 

(a)the blocks covered by the consent; and

(b)the activities authorised by the consent; and

(c)the period for which the consent is to have effect; and

(d)the consent conditions.

Note:

Under section 38A(3) and (5) the consent of the Minister is required to the carrying out of offshore exploration or mining activities in a marine nature reserve, marine park or marine management area. Section 38A(7) and (8) also contain provisions about the disturbance of certain parts of marine nature reserves and restricted areas.

(2)If the activity involves the collection of only small amounts of minerals (see section 315(3)(c)), the consent must also specify — 

(a)the minerals to be collected; and

(b)the quantities to be collected.

(3)The period specified under subsection (1)(c) is not to be more than 12 months.

326.Duration of consent

A consent has effect for the period specified under section 325(1)(c).

327.Conditions of consent

(1)The Minister may grant a special purpose consent subject to whatever conditions the Minister thinks are appropriate.

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), the Minister may impose conditions that relate to — 

(a)reports to be provided by the consent holder about activities carried out under the consent; and

(b)environmental matters.

Chapter 3Registration and Dealings

Part 3.1Registration

Division 1 — Preliminary

328.Register to be kept

(1)The Minister must keep a register for the purposes of this Part.

Note:

The main matters entered in the register are — 

1.the grant or renewal of a licence (see sections 333 and 334);

2.details of instruments that affect a licence (see section 337);

3.details of instruments that affect an interest in a licence (see sections 338 and 339);

4.details of interests in a licence that are acquired by devolution (see section 340);

5.details of caveats (see section 345).

(2)The register is to be known as the State Offshore Mining Register.

329.Document files to be kept

(1)The Minister must keep a document file for the purposes of this Part.

(2)In the document file are to be kept the documents that the Minister is required to keep under this Part.

Note:

The documents to be kept in the document file are — 

1.copies of licences (see section 333(6));

2.copies of instruments that affect licences (see section 337(4));

3.copies of transfers of licences (see section 338(6));

4.copies of other dealings in licences (see section 339(4));

5.caveats (see section 345(3));

6.withdrawals of caveats (see section 346(2));

7.consents to dealings given under section 350 (see section 350(6));

8.copies of court orders (see section 351).

330.Form of register and document file

(1)The offshore mining register is to be kept in the form and manner determined by the Minister.

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), the offshore mining register may be kept in the form of a computer record.

(3)The document file is to be kept in the form and manner determined by the Minister.

331.Correction of errors in the register

(1)Subject to subsection (4), the Minister may correct the offshore mining register if the Minister is satisfied that — 

(a)there is an omission of an entry from the register; or

(b)an entry in the register should not have been made; or

(c)there is an error or defect in an entry in the register.

(2)A person may apply to the Minister for correction of the offshore mining register under subsection (1).

(3)The application — 

(a)must be in writing; and

(b)must specify the correction that is being requested.

(4)If — 

(a)the Minister intends to correct the offshore mining register under subsection (1); and

(b)the correction relates to a licence; and

(c)the correction is not to be made in response to an application under subsection (2) by the licence holder,

the Minister must notify the holder that the Minister intends to correct the register.

(5)The notice — 

(a)must be in writing; and

(b)must specify the correction the Minister intends to make; and

(c)must invite the holder to make submissions to the Minister about the proposed correction within the period specified in the notice.

(6)The period specified under subsection (5)(c) is to be at least 14 days after the day on which the notice is given.

(7)If a notice is given under subsection (4) — 

(a)the Minister is not to correct the register until the period specified in the notice has ended; and

(b)the Minister is to have regard to any submissions made by the licence holder before the end of that period in exercising the power under subsection (1) to correct the register.

332.Inspection of register and documents

(1)A person may inspect the offshore mining register and the document file if the person pays the fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The Minister must make the offshore mining register and the document file available for inspection at all convenient times.

Division 2 — Matters to be entered in register

Subdivision A — Licences

333.Licences

(1)If the provisional grant of a licence is properly accepted, the Minister must register — 

(a)the holder’s name; and

(b)if there is more than one licence holder, the share in the licence held by each holder; and

(c)a description of the licence area, including a map or map reference; and

(d)the term of the licence; and

(e)the date of the provisional grant of the licence; and

(f)the date of registration of the licence; and

(g)an address for the service of notices under this Act on the licence holder.

(2)The address registered under subsection (1)(g) is to be the address specified by the licence holder by notice in writing to the Minister.

(3)If the holder has not given a notice under subsection (2), the address to be registered under subsection (1)(g) is to be the address specified in the application that the holder made for the licence.

(4)If the Minister registers a licence under subsection (1) — 

(a)the licence holder must give the licence to the Minister; and

(b)the Minister must endorse the date of registration on the licence.

(5)The Minister may include in the register any other information about the holder or the terms and conditions of the licence that the Minister thinks is appropriate.

(6)The Minister must keep a copy of the licence.

(7)A licence is taken to be registered as soon as an entry complying with subsection (1) is made in the register.

334.Renewal of licences

(1)If the Minister receives an application for the renewal of a licence, the Minister must register the fact.

(2)If the provisional renewal of a licence is properly accepted, the Minister must register — 

(a)the renewal; and

(b)the term of the renewal; and

(c)the date of the provisional renewal; and

(d)the date of registration of the renewal.

(3)If the Minister registers the renewal of a licence under subsection (2) — 

(a)the licence holder must give the licence to the Minister; and

(b)the Minister must endorse on the licence — 

(i)the term of the renewal; and

(ii)the date of registration of the renewal.

(4)If the Minister refuses to renew a licence, the Minister must register the refusal.

335.Extension of exploration licences

(1)If the Minister receives an application for the extension of the term of an exploration licence, the Minister must register the fact.

(2)If the Minister refuses to extend the term of an exploration licence, the Minister must register the refusal.

Note:

1.For extensions of the term of a licence see sections 94 to 98.

2. The grant of the extension of the term of an exploration licence is registered under section 337(1).

336.Expiry of licences

(1)If a licence expires because — 

(a)its term ends; or

(b)a retention licence or mining licence is granted to the licence holder,

the Minister must register the expiry of the licence.

Note:

Cancellation is dealt with under section 337.

(2)In subsection (1)(a) the reference to the term of a licence includes any period during which the licence is in force under section 90, 91, 92 or 93.

(3)If the Minister registers the expiry of a licence under subsection (1) — 

(a)the licence holder must give the licence to the Minister; and

(b)the Minister must endorse the expiry and the date of the expiry on the licence.

337.Variations etc. to licences

(1)The Minister must register — 

(a)the details of any document under this Act that varies, surrenders, cancels or otherwise affects a licence; and

(b)the details of any document that varies or revokes a document referred to in paragraph (a).

Note:

The documents referred to in paragraph (a) are — 

1.suspension of licence rights (see sections 48 (exploration licence), 135 (retention licence) and 195 (mining licence));

2.amendment of licence conditions between provisional grant and registration (see sections 67 (exploration licence), 148 (retention licence), 211 (mining licence) and 280 (works licence)) — these need to be registered at the same time as the grant is registered because if the conditions are amended between provisional grant and registration a replacement licence reflecting the change in conditions is not issued to the provisional holder;

3.extension of term (see sections 90, 95 and 97 (exploration licence));

4.surrender of the whole or a part of a licence (see sections 99 and 127 (exploration licence), 158 and 187 (retention licence), 235 and 264 (mining licence) and 312 (works licence));

5.voluntary surrender — special approval (see section 100 (exploration licence));

6.mandatory reduction of licence area — special permission (see section 104 (exploration licence));

7.amendment of licence conditions between provisional renewal and registration (see sections 111 (exploration licence), 170 (retention licence), 247 (mining licence) and 297 (works licence)) — these need to be registered at the same time as the renewal because if the licence conditions are amended between provisional renewal and registration a replacement licence reflecting the changed conditions is not issued to the holder;

8.variation of conditions (see sections 120 (exploration licence), 179 (retention licence), 256 (mining licence) and 306 (works licence));

9.exemption from or suspension of condition (see sections 121 (exploration licence), 180 (retention licence), 257 (mining licence) and 307 (works licence));

10.cancellation (see sections 130 (exploration licence), 189 and 190 (retention licence), 265 (mining licence) and 313 (works licence));

11.directions (see sections 387 and 392);

12.security requirements (see section 399);

13.approvals of transfers (see section 365).

(2)Subsection (1)(a) applies to a document that suspends the rights of a holder of a licence.

(3)Details of a document may be registered by registering a summary of the contents of the document.

(4)The Minister must keep a document referred to in subsection (1), or a copy of the document.

(5)A document referred to in subsection (1) — 

(a)has no effect until it is registered; and

(b)is taken to be registered as soon as an entry complying with subsection (1) is made in the register.

338.Transfer of licences

(1)The Minister must register the transfer of a licence or a share in a licence if — 

(a)a party to the transfer lodges the instrument of transfer for registration; and

(b)a party to the transfer lodges a copy of the instrument of transfer; and

(c)the transfer has been approved by the Minister; and

(d)the licence is lodged with the Minister for annotation under subsection (5); and

(e)the fee provided for in the Registration Fees Act is paid; and

(f)the fee prescribed by the regulations is paid; and

(g)section 341 (caveats) does not prevent the registration of the transfer.

Note:

Paragraph (c): the Minister’s approval is endorsed on the transfer (see section 365(3)).

(2)The Minister must also register the date and time of registration of the transfer.

(3)If an instrument purports to transfer a licence or a share in a licence, the Minister must register the instrument under this section without inquiring into or being concerned as to the legal effectiveness of the instrument.

(4)If an instrument that transfers a licence or a share in a licence is registered, the Minister must register the name of the transferee as a licence holder.

(5)If the Minister registers the transfer of a licence or a share in a licence, the Minister must annotate the licence to show the transferee as a licence holder.

(6)The Minister must — 

(a)keep the copy of the transfer;

(b)return the transfer to the person who lodged it; and

(c)return the annotated licence to the person who lodged it.

(7)The registration of a document under this section does not give the document any greater effect than it would have had apart from this Act.

339.Other dealings in licences

(1)The Minister must register a document (other than a transfer of a licence or a share in a licence) that creates, transfers, affects or otherwise deals with an interest in a licence if — 

(a)a party to the dealing lodges the document for registration; and

(b)a party to the dealing lodges a copy of the document; and

(c)the fee provided for in the Registration Fees Act is paid; and

(d)the fee prescribed by the regulations is paid; and

(e)section 341 (caveats) does not prevent the registration of the dealing.

(2)The Minister must also register the date and time of registration of the dealing.

(3)If a document purports to create, transfer, affect or otherwise deal with an interest in a licence, the Minister is to register the document under this section without inquiring into or being concerned as to the legal effectiveness of the document.

(4)The Minister must keep the copy of the document.

(5)The Minister must return the document to the person who lodged it.

(6)The registration of a document under this section does not give the document any greater effect than it would have had apart from this Act.

340.Devolution of licences

(1)If — 

(a)the rights of a licence holder have devolved to a person by operation of law; and

(b)the person applies to the Minister in writing to be registered as a licence holder; and

(c)the licence is lodged with the Minister for annotation under subsection (3); and

(d)the person pays the fee prescribed by the regulations; and

(e)the Minister is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to those rights; and

(f)section 341 (caveats) does not prevent the registration of the person as a licence holder,

the Minister must register the person as a licence holder.

(2)If the Minister registers a person as a licence holder under subsection (1), the Minister must also register the date and time of registration.

(3)If the Minister registers a person as a licence holder under subsection (1), the Minister must annotate the licence accordingly.

(4)The Minister must return the annotated licence to the person who lodged it.

(5)This section applies to 2 or more persons to whom rights have devolved in the same way as it applies to a single person to whom rights have devolved.

Subdivision B — Caveats

341.Effect of a caveat

(1)If a caveat is in force on a licence, the Minister must not register a dealing in the licence unless — 

(a)the Minister is not required to give the caveat holder notice of the particular dealing; or

(b)the caveat holder consents to the registration of the dealing under section 350; or

(c)a court of competent jurisdiction orders the Minister to register the dealing under section 338 or 339 despite the caveat.

Note:

1.For “dealing” see section 5.

2.Once the caveat holder has been given notice of the dealing, the caveat will lapse at the end of 30 days unless the caveat holder consents to the registration of the dealing or gets a court order extending the life of the caveat (see section 348).

3.The Minister may not be required to give the caveat holder notice of the dealing because the caveat holder is a party to the dealing or because the dealing falls outside the class of dealings that the caveat holder has specified under section 343(2) (see section 349(6)).

(2)If a caveat is in force on a licence, the Minister must not register a person under section 340 as a licence holder unless —

(a)the caveat holder consents to the registration under section 350; or

(b)a court of competent jurisdiction orders the Minister to register the person under section 340 despite the caveat.

Note:

Once the caveat holder has been given notice, the caveat will lapse at the end of 30 days unless the caveat holder consents to the registration or gets a court order extending the life of the caveat.

342.Lodgment of caveats

(1)A person who claims a legal or equitable interest in or affecting a licence may lodge with the Minister a caveat on the licence.

(2)A person may claim a legal or equitable interest in or affecting a licence even if the interest claimed arises under a document that has not been registered under section 338 or 339.

343.Form of caveat

(1)A caveat must — 

(a)be in accordance with the form approved by the Minister; and

(b)set out — 

(i)the full name and address of the person claiming the interest; and

(ii)details of the interest claimed;

and

(c)be signed by the person claiming the interest; and

(d)specify an address for service of notices within the State.

(2)A caveat may specify the particular dealings that the caveat holder wants to be given notice of under section 349.

344.Payment of fee

The person lodging a caveat must pay the caveat fee that is prescribed by the regulations.

345.Caveat to be registered

(1)If — 

(a)a caveat is lodged for registration; and

(b)the caveat complies with section 343; and

(c)the person lodging the caveat pays the fee required by section 344,

the Minister must, subject to subsection (4), register the caveat.

(2)The Minister must register the date and time of lodgment.

(3)The Minister must keep the original of the caveat and endorse on it the date and time of lodgment.

(4)Subsection (1) does not apply if — 

(a)a court has made an order under section 351(2); and

(b)the order requires the court’s consent to the registration of the caveat; and

(c)the court has not consented to the registration of the caveat.

346.Withdrawal of caveat

(1)A caveat holder may withdraw the caveat at any time by lodging a written withdrawal with the Minister.

(2)The Minister must — 

(a)register details of the withdrawal; and

(b)endorse details of the withdrawal on the original of the caveat; and

(c)keep the original of the withdrawal.

347.Form of withdrawal

A withdrawal of a caveat must — 

(a)be in accordance with the approved form; and

(b)give details of the caveat; and

(c)be signed by the caveat holder.

348.Duration of caveat

(1)A caveat that is registered is taken to have had effect from the time at which it is lodged with the Minister.

(2)A caveat on a licence ceases to have effect if — 

(a)a court of competent jurisdiction makes an order for the removal of the caveat under section 351; or

(b)the caveat is withdrawn under section 346; or

(c)the caveat holder is given notice under section 349(1), (2) or (3) and 30 days have passed since the caveat holder was given the notice.

(3)Subsection (2)(c) does not apply if, before the end of the 30 days, the caveat holder consents to the registration of the dealing or to the registration under section 340.

(4)Subsection (2)(c) does not apply if, before the end of the 30 days — 

(a)the caveat holder applies to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order under section 351 that the caveat be extended beyond the period; and

(b)the court makes an order extending the period.

(5)If a court makes an order under section 351(1)(c), the caveat ceases to have effect at the end of the extended period.

(6)Subsection (5) does not apply if, before the end of the extended period, the caveat holder consents to the registration of the dealing under section 350 or to the registration under section 340.

349.Notice to caveat holder

(1)If — 

(a)a transfer of a licence or a share in a licence is lodged with the Minister under section 338; and

(b)a caveat is in force on the licence,

the Minister must, subject to subsection (6), notify the caveat holder that the transfer has been lodged for registration.

(2)If — 

(a)a dealing in a licence (other than a transfer of the licence or a share in the licence) is lodged with the Minister under section 339; and

(b)a caveat is in force on the licence,

the Minister must, subject to subsection (6), notify the caveat holder that the dealing has been lodged for registration.

(3)If — 

(a)a person applies to the Minister under section 340 to be registered as a licence holder; and

(b)a caveat is in force on the licence,

the Minister must notify the caveat holder that the application has been made.

(4)If — 

(a)a licence holder surrenders the licence or surrenders a block or some of the blocks covered by the licence; and

(b)a caveat is in force on the licence,

the Minister must notify the caveat holder of the surrender.

(5)Notification under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) must be by certified mail.

(6)Notice is not to be given under subsection (1) or (2) if — 

(a)the caveat holder is a party to the transfer or dealing concerned; or

(b)the caveat holder has specified the class of dealings the caveat holder wants to receive notice of (see section 343(2)) and the transfer or dealing falls outside that class.

350.Caveat holder may consent to registration

(1)If a caveat holder is given notice under section 349(1), the caveat holder may consent to the registration of the transfer.

(2)If a caveat holder is given notice under section 349(2), the caveat holder may consent to the registration of the dealing.

(3)If a caveat holder is given notice under section 349(3), the caveat holder may consent to the registration of the person as a licence holder.

(4)A consent under this section must be in writing and must be lodged with the Minister.

(5)A consent under this section is only effective if it is given within 30 days after the day on which the caveat holder receives the notice concerned.

(6)The Minister must — 

(a)register details of the consent; and

(b)endorse details of the consent on the original of the caveat; and

(c)keep the original of the consent.

351.Orders that can be made by a court in relation to caveats

(1)The Supreme Court may — 

(a)order the removal of a caveat from a licence; or

(b)order the Minister to register a dealing despite a caveat; or

(c)extend the period provided for by section 348(2)(c).

(2)If — 

(a)a court makes an order under subsection (1)(a) or (b) in relation to the licence; and

(b)the court is satisfied that caveats are being used vexatiously to delay the registration of a document,

the court may also make an order that the Minister is not to register any caveats in respect of the licence unless the court has consented to the registration.

(3)An order under subsection (2) may be for an indefinite period or for a specified period.

(4)An order under subsection (2) may provide that the court’s consent is not required in any specified case or class of case.

(5)If an application is made to the court for an order under subsection (2), the Minister becomes a party to the proceedings.

(6)If a court makes an order under this section, the Minister must — 

(a)register details of the order; and

(b)keep a copy of the order.

Division 3 — Miscellaneous

352.Fees for registration

(1)The Minister is to determine the amount of the fee payable under the Registration Fees Act for registration of any document or fact.

(2)If — 

(a)a document creates, transfers, affects or otherwise deals with a licence or an interest in a licence; and

(b)the Minister determines under subsection (1) the amount of the fee payable under the Registration Fees Act on the basis of the information contained in the document; and

(c)the Minister subsequently becomes satisfied that the document does not fully and truly set out — 

(i)the consideration for the transaction it relates to; or

(ii)all the other facts and circumstances (if any) that affect the amount of the fee payable under the Registration Fees Act in respect of the document,

the Minister may make a fresh determination under subsection (1) of the amount of the fee.

352A.Exemption from duty

Duty under the Duties Act 2008 is not chargeable — 

(a)on a licence; or

(b)on any instrument that creates, transfers, affects or otherwise deals with an interest in a licence.

[Section 352A amended: No. 12 of 2008 Sch. 1 cl. 25.]

353.Protection from legal actions

(1)This section applies to — 

(a)the Minister; and

(b)a delegate of the Minister; and

(c)a person acting under the direction or authority of the Minister or a delegate of the Minister.

(2)A person to whom this section applies is not liable to an action, suit or proceeding in relation to an act or matter if — 

(a)the act or matter is done or omitted to be done in the exercise or purported exercise of a power or authority given by this Part; and

(b)the act or matter is done or omitted to be done in good faith.

354.Application to court for correction of register

(1)The Supreme Court, on the application of a person aggrieved by — 

(a)the omission of an entry from the offshore mining register; or

(b)an entry wrongly existing in the register; or

(c)an error or defect in an entry in the register,

may make any order it thinks appropriate directing correction of the register.

(2)In any proceedings under subsection (1), the Supreme Court may decide any necessary or expedient question concerning the rectification of the register.

(3)A copy of a Supreme Court order may be served on the Minister.

(4)In any proceedings under subsection (1) — 

(a)the Minister may appear; or

(b)if the Supreme Court so directs, the Minister must appear.

(5)If the Minister receives a copy of an order under subsection (3), the Minister must amend the register so that the register accords with the order.

355.Appeals against determinations under section 352

(1)If a person is dissatisfied with a determination by the Minister under section 352, the person may appeal to the Supreme Court against the determination.

(2)Written notice of an appeal under subsection (1) must be given to the Minister.

(3)In any proceedings under this section — 

(a)the Minister may appear; or

(b)if the Supreme Court so directs, the Minister must appear.

(4)On hearing an appeal under subsection (1), the Supreme Court may affirm, revoke or amend the determination of the Minister.

356.Section number not used

See note 2 to section 3(1).

357.Evidentiary value of register

(1)The offshore mining register is admissible in proceedings as evidence of the matters registered in it.

(2)If the register is kept by the use of a computer, the Minister may issue a document containing the details of a matter taken from the register.

(3)The document issued under subsection (2) is admissible in proceedings as evidence of the matter.

(4)The Minister may give a person a certified copy of, or extract from, the register if the person pays the fee prescribed by the regulations.

(5)The certified copy is admissible in proceedings without any further proof of, or the production of, the original.

358.Certified copy of document on document file

(1)The Minister may give a person a certified copy of a document that is kept on the document file if the person pays the fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The certified copy is admissible in proceedings without any further proof of, or the production of, the original.

359.Certification of registration action

(1)The Minister may give a person a signed certificate that — 

(a)a thing required or allowed by this Part has been done; or

(b)a thing required or allowed by this Part has not been done,

if the person pays the fee prescribed by the regulations.

(2)The certificate is admissible in proceedings as evidence of the facts stated in the certificate.

Part 3.2Dealings in licences

Division 1 — Dealings in licences to be in writing and registered

360.Dealings in licences to be in writing

(1)An interest in a licence may be created, transferred, affected or otherwise dealt with only by a written document.

Note:

A transfer must be in writing because it is a dealing.

(2)Subsection (1) does not apply to the rights of a licence holder that devolve to a person by operation of law.

Note:

1.Rights might devolve to a person, for example, by operation of the laws relating to intestacy or bankruptcy.

2.For the registration of rights that devolve to a person by operation of law see section 340.

361.Dealings in interests in licences not effective until registered

A document that creates, transfers, affects or otherwise deals with an interest in a licence has no effect until it is registered under Part 3.1.

Note:

1.A transfer is a dealing and does not take effect until registered.

2.Transfers are registered under section 338 and other dealings under section 339.

Division 2 — Approval of transfer of licences

362.Transfers require approval by Minister

(1)The transfer of a licence is not to be registered under section 338 unless it has been approved by the Minister.

Note:

1.For “transfer” of a licence see section 7(1).

2.A transfer is a dealing and under section 361 does not take effect until registered.

(2)The transfer of a share in a licence is not to be registered under section 338 unless it has been approved by the Minister.

Note:

1.For “transfer” in a share of a licence see section 7(2) and (3).

2.A transfer is a dealing and under section 361 does not take effect until registered.

363.Application for approval of transfer

(1)A person may apply to the Minister for approval of the transfer.

(2)The application must be in writing.

(3)The application must be accompanied by — 

(a)the transfer document (duly signed or executed); and

(b)a copy of the transfer document; and

(c)if a caveat holder has consented to the registration of the transfer under section 350(1), a copy of the consent.

(4)The application may include a statement of any matter that the applicant wants the Minister to take into account in deciding whether to approve the transfer.

(5)Without limiting subsection (4), the application may include a statement about — 

(a)the technical qualifications of a party to the transfer; or

(b)the technical qualifications of the employees of a party to the transfer; or

(c)the technical advice available to a party to the transfer; or

(d)the financial resources of a party to the transfer.

(6)The application must be accompanied by the fee prescribed by the regulations.

364.Minister may ask for further information

(1)If — 

(a)an application is made under section 363 for approval of a transfer; and

(b)the Minister has reason to believe that a person possesses or controls a document that relates to — 

(i)the transfer document; or

(ii)the transfer transaction; or

(iii)the application for approval of the transfer,

the Minister may ask the person — 

(c)to give the document to the Minister; or

(d)to make the document available for inspection by or on behalf of the Minister.

(2)The request under subsection (1) must be made by giving to the person a written notice containing the request.

(3)A person must not fail to comply with a request under subsection (1) without reasonable excuse.

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

365.Minister’s response to application for approval

(1)If an application is made under section 363, the Minister may —

(a)approve the transfer; or

(b)refuse to approve the transfer.

(2)The Minister may, under subsection (1)(a), approve the transfer on conditions that the Minister considers necessary or desirable in the public interest.

(3)If the Minister approves the transfer, the Minister must endorse on — 

(a)the transfer document; and

(b)a copy of the transfer document,

a record of the approval.

Note:

A record of the approval will also be entered in the offshore mining register (see section 338(1)).

366.Protection from legal actions

(1)This section applies to — 

(a)the Minister; and

(b)a delegate of the Minister; and

(c)a person acting under the direction or authority of the Minister or a delegate of the Minister.

(2)A person to whom this section applies is not liable to an action, suit or proceeding in relation to an act or matter if — 

(a)the act or matter is done or omitted to be done in the exercise or purported exercise of a power or authority given by this Part; and

(b)the act or matter is done or omitted to be done in good faith.

Chapter 4Administration

Part 4.1Information management

367.Minister may ask person for information

(1)The Minister may ask a person to give the Minister information if — 

(a)the information is relevant to the operation of this Act; and

(b)the Minister has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able to give the information.

Note:

The person must comply with the request (see section 372).

(2)The Minister may ask the person to give the information to — 

(a)the Minister; or

(b)an inspector nominated by the Minister.

(3)The request must — 

(a)be made by written notice given to the person; and

(b)specify the person to whom the information is to be given; and

(c)specify the period within which the information is to be given.

(4)The information must be given — 

(a)in writing; and

(b)before the end of the period specified in the request.

(5)The document containing the information must be signed by —

(a)if the information is given by a body corporate, an authorised officer of the body corporate; or

(b)if the information is provided by an individual, the individual.

368.Power to ask person to appear

(1)If the Minister has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is able to give information that is relevant to the operation of this Act, the Minister may ask the person to appear personally to — 

(a)give the information; and

(b)answer questions about the activity to which the information relates.

Note:

The person must comply with the request (see section 372).

(2)The Minister may ask a person to appear before — 

(a)the Minister; or

(b)an inspector nominated by the Minister.

(3)The request must — 

(a)be made by written notice given to the person; and

(b)specify the activity about which the information is sought or questions will be asked; and

(c)specify the address at which the person is to attend; and

(d)specify the day on which and the time at which the person is to attend; and

(e)indicate whether the appearance is to be before the Minister or before a nominated inspector.

369.Power to examine on oath or affirmation

(1)Where, following a notice under section 368, a person appears before the Minister or a nominated inspector, the Minister or the inspector may — 

(a)administer an oath or affirmation to the person; and

(b)request the person to answer any question that comes within the terms of the notice.

(2)The oath or affirmation to be administered is an oath or affirmation that the person will truthfully answer the questions put by the Minister or the inspector.

370.Minister may ask for documents

(1)The Minister may ask a person to produce a document if — 

(a)the document is relevant to the operation of this Act; and

(b)the Minister has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able to produce the document.

Note:

The person must comply with the request (see section 372).

(2)The Minister may ask the person to produce the document to —

(a)the Minister; or

(b)an inspector nominated by the Minister.

(3)The request — 

(a)must be made by written notice given to the person; and

(b)must specify the person to whom, and the address at which, the document is to be produced; and

(c)must specify — 

(i)the period within which the document is to be produced; or

(ii)the day on which and the time at which the document is to be produced;

and

(d)may specify whether the original or a copy of the document is to be produced.

(4)The regulations may provide for the manner in which the Minister is to deal with the document.

(5)Without limiting subsection (4), the regulations may authorise the Minister or inspector to take a copy of the document.

371.Minister may ask for samples

(1)The Minister may ask a person to produce a sample taken from the seabed or subsoil in coastal waters if — 

(a)the sample is relevant to the operation of this Act; and

(b)the Minister has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able to produce the sample.

Note:

The person must comply with the request (see section 372).

(2)The Minister may ask the person to give the sample to — 

(a)the Minister; or

(b)an inspector nominated by the Minister.

(3)The request — 

(a)must be made by written notice given to the person; and

(b)must specify the person to whom, and the address at which, the sample is to be given; and

(c)must specify — 

(i)the period within which the sample is to be given; or

(ii)the day on which and the time at which the sample is to be given.

(4)The regulations may provide for the manner in which the Minister or inspector is to deal with the sample.

(5)Without limiting subsection (4), the regulations may authorise the Minister or inspector to test or analyse the sample.

372.Obligation to comply with request under section 367, 368, 369, 370 or 371

(1)A person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to comply with a request under section 367, 368, 369, 370 or 371.

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

(2)A person is not excused from complying with the request on the ground that complying with the request might tend to incriminate the person or make the person liable to a penalty.

Note:

Section 373 provides immunity for the response to the request.

(3)A person must not give false or misleading information — 

(a)in response to a request under section 367, 368, 370 or 371; or

(b)in response to a question asked under section 369(1).

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

373.Immunity from use of information etc. given in response to request under section 367, 368, 369, 370 or 371

(1)Where a person gives the Minister information in response to a request under section 367 or 368, or to a question under section 369(1), the following are not admissible in evidence against the person in any proceedings — 

(a)the document containing the information given in response to the request;

(b)the answer to the question; or

(c)any information, document or thing obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of the giving of the information or answer.

(2)If a person produces a document in response to a request under section 370, the following are not admissible in evidence against the person in any proceedings — 

(a)the document;

(b)the fact of the production of the document by the person;

(c)any information, document or thing obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of the production of the document.

(3)If a person produces a sample in response to a request under section 371, the following are not admissible in evidence against the person in any proceedings — 

(a)the sample;

(b)the fact of the production of the sample by the person;

(c)any information, document or thing obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of the production of the sample.

(4)The immunity provided by subsections (1), (2) and (3) does not apply to proceedings for an offence against section 372(3).

374.Restrictions on release of confidential material

(1)Subject to sections 375 and 376, if the Minister holds confidential information — 

(a)the Minister; and

(b)a Commonwealth or State Minister who is given the information under section 375; and

(c)a person acting on behalf of the Minister or of a Minister referred to in paragraph (b); and

(d)a person who is given the information under section 375(3),

must not — 

(e)publish the information; or

(f)make the information available to a person.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.

(2)Subject to section 375, if the Minister holds a confidential sample — 

(a)the Minister; and

(b)a Commonwealth or State Minister who is given access to the sample under section 375; and

(c)a person acting on behalf of the Minister or of a Minister referred to in paragraph (b); and

(d)a person who is given access to the sample under section 375(4),

must not — 

(e)allow a person to inspect the sample; or

(f)publish information about the sample.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.

375.Circumstances in which confidential material may be released

(1)If — 

(a)a licence holder gives confidential information to the Minister; and

(b)the holder — 

(i)makes the information publicly available; or

(ii)consents in writing to the information being made publicly available,

the Minister, or another State Minister or a Commonwealth Minister who is given access to the information, may make the information available to any person.

(2)If — 

(a)a licence holder gives a confidential sample to the Minister; and

(b)the holder — 

(i)publishes details of the sample; or

(ii)consents in writing to the details being made publicly available; or

(iii)consents in writing to the sample being made available for public inspection,

the Minister, or another State Minister or a Commonwealth Minister who is given access to the sample, may — 

(c)make details of the sample available to any person; or

(d)allow any person to inspect the sample.

Note:

For “confidential information” and “confidential sample” see sections 27 and 28.

(3)Confidential information may be made available to a person if the information is made available for the purposes of the administration of this Act or the Registration Fees Act.

(4)A person may be given access to a confidential sample if the access is given for the purposes of the administration of this Act or the Registration Fees Act.

376.Certain reports to be made available

If — 

(a)in order to comply with — 

(i)the regulations; or

(ii)a direction under section 387 or 392; or

(iii)a licence condition,

a licence holder gives the Minister a report; and

(b)the report relates to blocks that are no longer covered by the licence or by a successor licence to the licence; and

(c)another person requests the Minister to make the report available to the person,

the Minister must make the report available to the person.

Part 4.2Monitoring and enforcement

Division 1 — Inspections

377.Compliance inspections

For the purposes of this Act, a compliance inspection is an inspection carried out to determine whether — 

(a)a licence holder, a special purpose consent holder or an associate has complied with or is complying with — 

(i)this Act or the regulations; or

(ii)the Registration Fees Act or regulations made under that Act; or

(iii)the licence or consent conditions; or

(iv)a direction under section 387 or 392;

or

(b)a person is exploring for or recovering minerals in breach of section 38.

Note:

An inspector may carry out a compliance inspection under — 

1.section 379 (inspection of licence‑related premises etc. without a warrant);

2.section 380 (inspection of other premises etc. with consent of the occupier);

3.section 381 (inspection of premises etc. with a warrant).

378.Powers exercisable in course of inspection

(1)If an inspector may carry out a compliance inspection, the inspector may do anything that is reasonable and necessary to carry out the inspection.

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), the inspector may — 

(a)examine things that are being used for exploration or mining purposes and things that appear to the inspector to be intended to be used for those purposes; and

(b)test equipment (for example, by operating it); and

(c)examine, and copy, documents; and

(d)remove documents; and

(e)take photographs and videotapes; and

(f)examine, and take samples from the seabed or subsoil; and

(g)enter or go onto any land, building or structure; and

(h)enter or board any vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

(3)If the compliance inspection is being carried out under a warrant under section 382, subsection (2) has effect subject to the restrictions that are specified in the warrant.

(4)Subject to subsections (5) and (6), if an inspector removes a document under subsection (2)(d), the inspector may retain the document for as long as is necessary to determine whether the licence holder, the consent holder or the associate has complied with or is complying with — 

(a)this Act and the regulations; or

(b)the Registration Fees Act or regulations made under that Act; or

(c)the licence or consent conditions; or

(d)a direction under section 387 or 392.

(5)Subject to subsection (6), the inspector must not retain the document for more than 60 days.

(6)If — 

(a)proceedings for an offence against a provision of this Act or the regulations are commenced within that period of 60 days; and

(b)the document may afford evidence of the commission of the offence,

the inspector may retain the document until the proceedings are completed.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (6) the proceedings for an offence are taken to include any appeal to a court in relation to those proceedings.

(8)While an inspector is retaining the document under subsection (4), the inspector must allow a person to inspect the document if the person would have a right to inspect the document if it were not in the inspector’s possession.

379.Inspection of licence‑related premises etc. without warrant

(1)Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), an inspector may, without a warrant, carry out a compliance inspection of — 

(a)licence‑related land; or

(b)a licence‑related building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft,

if the inspection is reasonably necessary.

(2)An inspection under subsection (1) must be made at a reasonable time.

(3)An inspector may not enter premises under subsection (1) if — 

(a)the premises are a residence; and

(b)the occupier has not consented to the entry.

(4)An inspector may not carry out a compliance inspection under subsection (1) if — 

(a)the person occupying or in charge of the land, building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft concerned asks the inspector to produce the inspector’s identity card for inspection by the person; and

(b)the inspector does not comply with the person’s request.

(5)For the purposes of this section, land or a building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft is licence‑related if — 

(a)it is used in connection with activities carried out under a licence or special purpose consent; or

(b)records about activities of that kind are kept there.

380.Inspection of other premises etc. with occupier’s consent

An inspector may carry out a compliance inspection of land or a building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft with the consent of the person who occupies or is in charge of the land, building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

381.Inspection of other premises etc. with warrant

An inspector may carry out a compliance inspection in accordance with a warrant issued under section 382.

382.Procedure for obtaining warrant

(1)An inspector may apply to a magistrate for a warrant to carry out a compliance inspection of land or of a building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

(2)The application must be supported by a statement on oath or affirmation that sets out the grounds on which the inspector is applying for the warrant.

(3)If the magistrate is satisfied that the compliance inspection is reasonably necessary, the magistrate may issue a warrant to the inspector to carry out the inspection.

(4)The warrant must state — 

(a)the name of the inspector; and

(b)whether the inspection may be carried out at any time or only during specified hours of the day; and

(c)the day on which the warrant ceases to have effect; and

(d)the purposes for which the warrant is issued.

(5)The day specified under subsection (4)(c) is not to be more than 7 days after the day on which the warrant is issued.

(6)The purposes specified under subsection (4)(d) must include the identification of — 

(a)the land, building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft to be inspected; and

(b)any equipment that the inspector may test; and

(c)any documents that the inspector may examine and copy; and

(d)any cores or cuttings from the seabed or subsoil that the inspector may examine and take samples of.

383.Further provisions as to exercise of powers under warrant

(1)If a warrant for a compliance inspection is issued to an inspector under section 382, the warrant authorises the inspector to carry out the inspection — 

(a)with such assistance as is reasonable and necessary; and

(b)by such force as is reasonable and necessary.

(2)An inspector may not carry out a compliance inspection under a warrant if — 

(a)the person occupying or in charge of the land, building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft concerned asks the inspector to produce the inspector’s identity card for inspection by the person; and

(b)the inspector does not comply with the person’s request.

384.Occupier to cooperate with inspector

If an inspector carries out a compliance inspection of land or of a building, structure, vehicle, vessel or aircraft under section 379 or 381, the person who occupies or is in charge of it must provide the inspector with the facilities and assistance that the inspector reasonably requires for carrying out the inspection.

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

Division 2 — Directions

385.Directions by Minister must be obeyed

(1)A person must comply with a direction under section 387 or 392.

Maximum penalty: $10 000.

(2)A person must comply with a supplementary direction given under section 391(2).

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

386.Scope of directions

(1)The Minister may give a direction under section 387 or 392 if it is necessary or convenient to do so to carry out or give effect to this Act or the regulations.

(2)Without limiting subsection (1), directions may be given in relation to — 

(a)the control of offshore exploration or mining activities; and

(b)the conservation and protection of the mineral resources in coastal waters; and

(c)the remedying of — 

(i)damage caused to the seabed or subsoil in coastal waters by offshore exploration or mining activities; or

(ii)damage caused by the escape of substances as a result of offshore exploration or mining activities;

and

(d)the protection of the environment; and

(e)the keeping of records and samples; and

(f)the giving of records and samples to the Minister for inspection; and

(g)the making of returns.

Note:

For “offshore exploration or mining activities” see section 5.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2), the control of offshore exploration or mining activities extends to the control of — 

(a)the construction, maintenance and operation of installations used in or for use in exploration or mining activities in coastal waters; and

(b)the flow or discharge of fluids arising from exploration or mining activities in coastal waters; and

(c)the safety, health and welfare of persons working in offshore exploration or mining activities; and

(d)the maintenance of structures, equipment and property used in or for use in offshore exploration or mining activities.

Note:

For “offshore exploration or mining activities” see section 5.

387.Minister may give directions

(1)Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), the Minister may direct a licence holder or special purpose consent holder to do or not to do the thing specified in the direction.

(2)The direction must be in writing and is given by serving it on the holder.

(3)The Minister must not give a direction of a permanent or standing nature except after consultation with the responsible Commonwealth Minister.

(4)A failure to comply with subsection (3) does not affect the validity of the direction concerned.

388.Direction may incorporate material in another document

(1)A direction under section 387 may apply, adopt or incorporate a code of practice or a standard that is contained in another document.

(2)The application, adoption or incorporation of the other document may be made with or without modification.

(3)The other document may be one issued outside Australia.

(4)The direction may apply, adopt or modify the other document — 

(a)as in force at the time when the direction is given; or

(b)as in force from time to time.

(5)If a direction applies, adopts or incorporates material in another document, a copy of the document must be attached to the direction when it is given to the licence holder or special purpose consent holder.

389.Direction may impose absolute prohibition

Without limiting section 387 a direction under that section may — 

(a)prohibit absolutely the doing of a thing; or

(b)prohibit the doing of a thing unless a person’s consent or approval is obtained.

390.Direction may extend to associates

(1)A direction under section 387 to a licence holder or special purpose consent holder may extend to an associate specified in the direction.

(2)An associate may be specified by name or by class.

(3)The direction may provide that only particular obligations specified in the direction extend to a particular associate.

391.Holder to give notice of direction to associates

(1)If a direction under section 387 extends to an associate, the licence holder or special purpose consent holder must either — 

(a)give a copy of the direction to the associate; or

(b)display a copy of the direction at a place that the associate goes to in the course of carrying out activities under the licence or consent.

Maximum penalty: $5 000.

(2)The Minister may give the licence holder or special purpose consent holder a supplementary direction that specifies the manner in which, or the places at which, copies of a direction are to be displayed under subsection (1)(b).

(3)A supplementary direction is to have effect as if it were part of the original direction.

392.Power to give directions after licence etc. ends

(1)If a person is bou